For the last month, a heated discussion has persisted on the mailing list of the Association of Internet Researchers. This list is comprised of researchers interested in studying internet behavior. The discussion began when someone asked about the ethics of data collection while lurking. There is no universally accepted answer on this one and the result was intense. The discussion is still going on and i’d strongly encourage anyone interested in issues of learning from behavior online (business people as well as researchers) to check out the May Archives.
The threads of interest include: “ethnography and ethics”, “ethics of recording publicly observed interactions”, and “Google is watching !”.