Thursday, June 15, 2017

Guidelines on Social Media Use in Research #Science

Scientists at the University of York have called for guidelines, informed by public opinion, to be made available to researchers who are considering using social media as a research tool.
Whilst there has been much debate on the ethics of using social media posts in research, a comprehensive search of studies from around the globe only identified 11 that have explored the views of social media users on employing such research methods, and as few as six which considered the views of researchers.

Attitudes from social media users varied according to the studies, from people stating that such research is essential, to those strongly against their posts being used in this context.

Social media users were generally more supportive of their content being used if the research was conducted to a high standard, was conducted by respected researchers, did not include children or vulnerable people, and was aimed at making life better for patients or communities. Scientists call for consistent guidelines on social media use in research

The Rockhouse premise is social media is riddled more with research than anything else even if it's only in trying to determine which type of laundry detergent you are most likely to buy.

Some research institutions provide specific ethical guidelines on social media in research, but others do not have any and some will instead defer to organisations such as the Association for Internet Researchers (AoIR) Guidelines.

Dr Golder said: "Many social media users do not realise that their views could be used in research and they are therefore not posting comments and images with this in mind. 

"The more social media users become aware that researchers are looking at their accounts, the greater the risk that users become guarded about posting their honest opinions or posting anything at all.  

"This is particularly important for social media networks that provide valuable support networks across a range of issues, such as channels dedicated to information for new mothers, advice for cancer patients, and recovering alcoholics.

"It is therefore important that consistent and universal guidelines are produced that are informed by the views of social media users and that this becomes standard practice in ethics approval processes at universities and other research institutions."

- PO

The text in bold is straight out of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which is summarized as the act of observation can change the result.  (WIKI:  Uncertainty principle)

The biggest Rockhouse interest in social media is regarding the Facebook Swarm Effect in which presentation of opposition to any effect will almost invariably result in being swarmed by like-minded friends who will try to annihilate it.  The Rockhouse regards that as an extremely dangerous social phenomenon since it engenders and supports the thinking you can never be wrong.

The same effect can be observed in responses from everything to anti-vaxx to what did Obama do during the war.  Making observations in this regard has an almost inherent requirement for the unethical in terms of injecting oneself into the engagement.  That's got a whole lot of people hating me but not much beyond that.

In general, the source article doesn't go far enough since a research focus on social media means it is or is less focused anywhere else.  In part, the Rockhouse attributes that to laziness since it's easy to play games with social media and somewhat more difficult to go out into the field.  The problem coming from that is social media comes to represent society and that's patently false when so many have little or nothing to do with it.

From the look of things, no-one had to be coerced into The Matrix since they went into it willingly.

- Newer technology came out recently for video games and there was fever within an enormous audience which was much like an announcement, The Beatles are Coming to Shea Stadium, in older times.  That fervor wasn't only with children but goes at least through 20-somethings and likely 30-somethings as well, probably higher.

- Tremendous interest in VR which permits total withdrawal from any physical world and most physical considerations

- Constant linkage is required back to The Matrix and frequently people fill every possible moment by playing with a mobile device and / or talking on one, all of which prevent or inhibit engagement with any actual people anywhere near you.

- Isolationism within social media permits the You Are Never Wrong phenomenon and further increases the need for more isolation to protect that feeling.

The Rockhouse submits these are fundamentally dangerous trends since none of them require any actual engagement with living, breathing humans.  Moreover, they are highly likely to prevent it or at least make it more difficult.  The apparent focus of science on social media at the expense of everything else shows the same type of myopic indifference to the fulness of things insofar as there's an enormous population outside social media as well.

Note:  the Rockhouse is not feeling ignored but rather horrified at trends which do not appear psychologically or sociologically healthy in any way.

No comments: