Real friends and fake friends: Research relationships in an era of global social media

Walton, Marion and Hassreiter, Silke (2015) Real friends and fake friends: Research relationships in an era of global social media, Ethical Quandaries in Social Research., 228-249, Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.

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Mobile networks are making the internet and particularly social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter more easily accessible to increasing numbers of people. As the scope and contexts of internet research expand across the world, particularly with the diffusion of mobile networks, novel opportunities arise for researchers, bringing with them a renewed need for ethical awareness. This chapter explores the ethical dilemmas we experienced during our work on a participatory youth media production project with members of a youth development non-profit organisation, Ikamva Youth, in Khayelitsha. In particular, we detail how the use of Facebook to create a networked research site deepened our interest in building mutuality in research relationships with vulnerable youth, and sharpened our determination to use the research project to the benefit of those who participated. These experiences required us to revisit our assumptions regarding how to gain informed consent, protect anonymity and privacy, and ensure beneficiation through the research.

Item Type: Book chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethics, social media, teens, facebook, mobile photography
Subjects: Social and professional topics
Alternate Locations:
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2015
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:32

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