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Social Media Research: A Guide to Ethics

In recent years the number of people engaging with social media has exploded. Social media platforms are now utilised as key locations for networking, socialising and importantly, for reflecting on all aspects of everyday life. Such online spaces therefore hold vast quantities of naturally-occurring data on any number of topics, from consumer behaviours, to attitudes towards pro-environmental policies, to political views and preferences. This provides researchers with a huge opportunity to gather data that would otherwise have taken much time and resource to obtain. Yet this opportunity is accompanied by responsibility to ensure that how we obtain and reuse such data is done to the highest possible ethical standards. Traditional ethics frameworks can inform researchers to some extent in this, but social media data brings new contextual challenges which the more traditional approaches are not equipped to deal with. This calls for a new consideration of best practice in this domain.

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World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

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