In this paper the need of awareness for
and even of change in the rules of how we conduct ourselves as
researchers and participants in the virtual worlds of the internet is
proposed. The focus of this paper is on the ethics for online research.
Our aim is to reignite the discussion about the way the availability and
consequent (mis)use of ‘social’ data, e.g. social network site profiles
or newsgroup postings by researchers is about to necessitate a new
definition of and fight for the right for a private sphere that each
individual may claim in the public of the virtual worlds. We conclude
with an approach on how to accomplish that.
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