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View Poll Results: Is it appropriate for a researcher to name an online community and use quotes from community posting

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  • Yes, we could use the publicity

    3 27.27%
  • The community should *not* be named, but quotes are OK

    4 36.36%
  • The community can be named, but quotes should *not* be included without the express permission of the poster

    1 9.09%
  • The community should *not* be named, and quotes should *not* be included without the express permission of the poster

    1 9.09%
  • Don't care much either way

    2 18.18%
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Thread: Ethics of research involving online identities

  1. #1 Ethics of research involving online identities 
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    I'm preparing a conference paper (scrambling to meet the extended deadline) that explores the incident of Sciforums going down a couple of months ago, how the community coped, and the effects on this community.

    I've come up against some interesting ethical issues, and I need to know what you think.

    1) Would it make you uncomfortable if The Science Forum was mentioned by name in my paper?

    2) Would it make you uncomfortable if I used quotes from posts to The Science Forum in my paper (naming the thread, but not the user)?



    Thanks to all who read.
    Pete

    (Peter Byrnes
    Faculty of Business
    Department of Information Systems
    University of Southern Queensland,
    Australia)


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily like the implications of the first choice "We could use the publicity" but I had to choose it because it is the one that says go ahead and use it all.

    These are public forums (Well. Privately owned, but the posts are available for anyone with an internet connection to read. Therefore public.)

    I always meant to get in touch with you as per your post in the other thread, but never did. There's really not much more that I could add that I haven't already said in the other thread. I explained how the whole thing came about (during my rant of feeling unappreciated...)

    If you have any questions, go ahead and pm me. Either here or at Sciforums. I haven't been spending as much time at either place recently, but I do check in from time to time.

    Anyway. Go ahead and document the whole thing. And be sure to make it available for us to read as well.

    And. By the way. There seems to be a 'slight problem with the database' again. So. Let's hope that it's not happening again... (I'm hoping that Dave is fixing the problems with the forum software that came about from quickly resetting the site after returning from Africa but not doing things right... You'd think he'd be considerate enough to put an explanation page, especially since it's barely been on a month again since the last disaster.


    Edit:
    OH. Yeah. Your picture. I'd seen it from the link before in the other thread but never made it back to comment.

    Not what I expected you to look like. Imagination is a strange thing... (No offense. But has anyone ever told you that you bear a resemblance to Doogie Houser?)


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Funny idea that the content of an internet forum can be interesting for scientific research. On the other hand, anonymous communication is a fascinating thing :wink:

    About your question, I'd personally say go ahead as long as you don't mention the poster's names. I for one have said many things on internetfora which I later regretted. I wouldn't want to have some of those things on paper with my name next to it. I guess you could just replace the names and nicknames with imaginative nicks.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    i think it would be good of you to ask.. adn if the person allows go ahead.. and if they wanted .. you sould metion their name..

    whts this about?
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  6. #5  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Well I see it this way, we as the members of the forum are already "Public". We are indexed, sorted, cached, displayed all over the net. The search engines alone have duplicated this content who knows how many times.

    So I say do what you need to, it's not as if anything here is private content. It would be no different then dropping leaflets all over New York City.

    The key is giving someone credit for the quote(s).
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman tablariddim's Avatar
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    If forums are public, which they are, then does that mean that one could publish segments of them in the form of a book or a novel, without permission by the authors of the posts or the Forum owners, I guess what I'm trying to say is, are they not copyrighted?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Technically posting here may make it property of the forum owner. Honestly I'm not sure, nor do I wish to find out and or annoy anyone by trying to find out. The bottom line I will never hesitate to remove any content that anyone has written and wishes to remove. I won't however remove content just because one group doesn't like it. I hold the rights of the author over the rights of the forum.

    Some good questions, someone must have an answer.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Ah.
    Never though of that.
    There is the problem of copyright.

    Too bad Tiassa's not around. He's dug into all the copyright issues before. But, our posts are copyrighted. We'd have to give permission.

    However, there's such a thing as fair use. This whole thing gets tricky now. Pete's not writing a book. He's writing a paper.

    Hmm.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    The copyright at the bottom of each page is Pecksweb.com. Pecksweb belongs to one of my business partners and is a subdivision of Pecks industries LLC. I'm not on the board of said company. But I'm not sure if this means anything at all when it comes to the individual posts. I for one have no issue at all with what Pete needs to do.

    Legalities suck, now I'm curious.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Like I said, Tiassa has looked into this before and from what he (and James R, come to think of it) has said, our posts are our property. Copyrighted. That doesn't mean that you can't erase them, but more to do with duplicating them. The exact wording of the content is ours.

    I forget the specifics and the limitations, but Tiassa knows all this shit.

    Maybe you could send him an email and ask him to chip in his two cents?
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  12. #11  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Yah, I would have to agree with you on that one Invert. The terms and conditions of use I don't think say anything about property rights (Unlike those with AIM). AOL more or less says anything you say on their network becomes their property and any works derived from conversations on their network. I would never resort to such crap.

    I think if Pete wanted to play it safe he should try to get permission from each member he wishes to quote and explain what he wishes to quote.

    I know the posters on a forum can be held liable for slander as well as the owner of the forum. One of the reasons I try to keep this place under control.

    Again..legal issues suck
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  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    only 1 ?

    true.. imaigne if i caled someone .. a murderous pig? you could be sued?
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  14. #13 Qa 
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!
    I'll make the paper available by posting a link when it's done.

    Copyright does need to be considered. I am required to only use quotes in a way that complies with "fair use".

    Yes, I have been compared to Doogie Howser before. Not just in appearance, either!

    I currently have a mountain of potential quotes, and I'm still dredging for more.

    Here are the quotes I might use that I've collected so far. If anyone objects to any of these, please let me know by PM, email, or reply to this thread. Please don't second-guess my interpretations into the quotes yet... I still have much analysis and writing to do

    thescienceforum - profanity issue (obviously much discussion and other other quotes needed here):
    <blockquote>“What's this place like?
    When signing in there were the obligatory obscenity warnings, but I've seen a violation or two. And I know that Abraxas and I have both violated them. Should we fear banishment?
    What are the mods like?
    Hopefully you'll be able to handle some... boisterous... obscene... abusive... behavior.
    On occasion.
    The content will usually be there underneath. I can promise that.”

    “Hmm.. Just a friendly reminder to keep the posts friendly, and in such a fashion that "Mothers against profanity" doesn't try to shut us down. I'm removing the word cencors if they haven't been removed already, but please, try to keep it clean, and curb the use of 'fuck' et cetera.”

    “Was hoping to find a place where adults could get together and talk and if saying bad words is what they want to do in their intelligent dialogue then so be it.”

    (21 to 27 April 2005, Use of Profanity, thescienceforum.com)</blockquote>

    Discussion of the Return at thescienceforum
    <blockquote>“Sciforums is back, but do we really want to go there now?”
    (27 May 2005, Sciforums is back! But do we really want to go there?, sciforums.com)

    “You can almost see a slew of little dinghies from all over the net making a bee-line for a point below the horizon.
    Can you imagine the orgy going on over there now?
    : : Shivers : :
    Reason enough to keep clear.”
    (28 May 2005, Sciforums is back! But do we really want to go there?, sciforums.com)

    “Well forums come and go in my life … Ive been in many of them, I've enjoyed Sci the most, basically because it's people, and now that Sci is back, it does not mean I leave this one.”
    (28 May 2005, Sciforums is back! But do we really want to go there?, sciforums.com)

    “This place is virginal. The Christian zealots haven't found it yet. Oh, don't get me wrong. I had withdrawal symptoms over sciforums, but this site is pure and chaste. Sciforums still has the Christian zealots, and who wants that? We were all attached to sciforums, and what happened was a sad day for all. For me, it depends on where the Christians go and I'll go elsewhere.”
    (29 May 2005, Sciforums is back! But do we really want to go there?, sciforums.com)

    “Well, I for one will post in both places. Will have to wait and see how I dedicate my time to the two. …
    It goes without saying that Sciforums will have my utmost love and devotion as I have a love affair with the place, but I don't think she'll mind if I stick my tongue in this forums nooks and crannies every now and again.”
    (29 May 2005, Sciforums is back! But do we really want to go there?, sciforums.com)

    “Let me thank our kind hosts for tolerating us in the meantime, and also reiterate my apology for the possibly-indelible stamp our crowd has brought to this lovely corner of the 'net.”
    (27 May 2005, Sciforums Update, thescienceforum.com)

    “I will bidding a fond adeu to this site also. Thank you for letting us use this site for the brief time that we were here.”
    (27 May 2005, Sciforums Update, thescienceforum.com)

    “I mean no offense to anyone, but now that SciForums is back on line the only thing it changes here is our ability to run this forum with a bit more restriction on the type of content. Frankly some of these threads do nothing to help the forum, fighting back and forth with each other will not inspire some bright mind that happens by to take this place seriously.
    The administration here has been very lenient on many refugees so as not to leave them completely homeless. To some I have to say go home, to others I have to ask please stay.
    ...
    Best wishes to all the refugees and may your home give your happiness.”
    (27 May 2005, Sciforums Update, thescienceforum.com)

    “I still gladly welcome everyone, I just won't be turning a blind eye to what is going on. I don't want just another SciForums, I want a somewhat unique place that I can call home and be proud of.
    So some posting guidelines and rules will go in to effect. If the profanity continues to be excessive I may have to turn back on the filter for some substitution of words. I really would rather not have to do so. I think just laying down the law should suffice.
    As always feedback from the members is a plus, bending everything to appease one member is not.”
    (27 May 2005, Sciforums Update, thescienceforum.com)</blockquote>
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  15. #14  
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    Regarding the purpose of this research, "online communities" or "virtual communities" have been of interest to researchers of many kinds (particularly in sociology, information systems, and communications research).

    The seminal work on the topic is Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier describing his experiences at the WELL and elsewhere. You can read the book online at the author's website: The Virtual Community. It's a great read!


    The current textbook on Online Community is Jenny Preece's Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability.


    There are lots of questions about online communities that are being addressed through research. How are group norms established? How does offline culture permeate online community? How effectively is knowledge transferred and created online? What motivates people to participate in online community? How are online communities useful for organisations and society? How can community health be best maintained? What effects to moderation styles have on community health? What is a "healthy" community anyway?

    This paper is my first, but I need to write more. I'm hoping to do my Master's thesis on roles of members and relationships between member characteristics and community characteristics.

    Pete
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  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman James R's Avatar
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    Looks like we may be having a brief re-run of this "experiment".

    Arrrgghh!
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  17. #16  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Except this is "thescienceforum.com"

    You had .net many times
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  18. #17  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Definitely sounds interesting.
    I have no problems with any of my quotes you've picked. And feel free to use anything I've said anywhere (even if I'm making myself a fool at the time.)

    As to the profanity issue. That one was discussed in so many threads that it'd be very hard to round up. It seemed the chief object of discussion in the resettlement. Profanity vs. Inanity as it concerns acceptable behavior.

    I'd definitely recommend Abraxas' thread on The Constitutional Correlate of Stupidity and PRofanity (or something like that) it pretty much devastated all argument. It was really something. (Even though, strangely enough, the push/pull continued even after they surrendered. Heh.)

    Anyway. Sounds like it'll be good. The quotes you've gathered tell an interesting tale. You've really got a good idea here. I'm kinda surprised to see Scienceforums.net on there. You've been around. Sciforums was hardly discussed there though. In fact, you almost got all of it.



    James,

    Do you know what's going on? Any word from Dave?
    Lack of funding was mentioned in another thread and the worry is that maybe it's gone for good this time.
    Damned google.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    It was profanity vs (In)Sanity.

    In the end chaos rains supreme
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  20. #19  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Insanity,

    Heh.
    InSanity and Mr. U the Discordian.
    And yet they want such a nice polite home.
    Weirdos.


    Pete,

    Do you understand how it happened that the refugees happened upon this forum? Abraxas (Gendanken) and I are behind it. We set the wheels in motion that is. (Hence my childish petulance when I wasn't shown the proper appreciation.)

    I've told the story in a thread or two, but I could tell it again if you haven't gathered it up. If you're interested. I think the aftermath is shown quite well by your selection of quotes.
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  21. #20  
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    I've just removed all quotes from my post except for those from this forum... I'll post the whole list to sciforums.com (assuming it comes back!)

    I found the dreaded "slight problem" message yesterday when I when to update my data. Not happy, Jan!
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  22. #21  
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    Hi invert,
    I've got the story-in-messages, but haven't selected the representative quotes yet.

    Abraxas's debut on the forum was... interesting... (In)Sanity, I wouldn't mind your take on Abraxas's first day if you recall it.

    What I really need from you, invert, is the behind-the-scenes communication. How did Abraxas discover thescienceforum? How did e communicate it to you? Did you have a list of sciforum members email or other contacts you used to send an invite out? What other member-seeking steps did you take (I know you've documented some of this in messages already... I'll dig it out eventually).

    Pete
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  23. #22  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Ha, my take on the situation was who are these obnoxious people that have come my way. Rude, crude etc. Then once I figured out the hostility was really just out of frustration for their home blowing up I was a bit more understanding. Since then everyone has become much more understanding and I think we are all cool with each other. Cool as in not arguing and fighting anymore
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  24. #23  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Ok. Let's see here.
    Abraxas found this place on a google search, I think. She'd been busy and hadn't had time for Sci for a while and she came back and it was dead. We spent a day or two talking through email and then she sent me an email saying,
    <blockquote>I've just accomplished the Pathetic..

    www.thescienceforum.com



    See if you can tell who I am.</blockquote>
    And. Of course. It was pretty easy to pick her out of the 'crowd'. She was busy picking on Sploit because he had been kinda bragging about being a killer. (He hasn't posted much since then. I suspect that he hates us all.)

    So. I try registering and have problems registering. I give it more time and finally manage to register a few hours later (in the meantime she's been tormenting Sploit all over the forum.) I sign up as Drecksus and log in and post in her welcome thread. She suspects that it's me. And it soon becomes apparent that it is.
    Anyway. So. I go around and back her up in a few threads here and there. Picking on Sploit mostly as he was the only action at the time. I wasn't taking the place seriously as I still expected Sci to come back online. This was before I'd gotten in touch with Dave and got the message about the Hosting problem.

    So. We play around a little bit. Then, after the bad news from Dave, I get in touch with INsanity on the question of drawing together the refugees (I'm not sure who coined that term. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. I think it might have been My Sexy Blue Feet... Hmm. That'd be an interesting quote to find. The first use of refugee. It seems that people actually googled the word.)

    I told him about Sciforms. How it is the most interesting site on the net (by my viewpoint.) And that by accepting us into the fold, he'd be gathering the most interesting of an interesting place (Yes. Arrogant and obnoxious...). I also told him that he'd be gaining more than a group of users. He'd be gaining a family. The only thing was that there was a software censor in place at the time and I told him that it would have to be removed and that a somewhat lax attitude would need to be taken to behavior as we're a rowdy bunch (as was said in one of the quotes you culled.) He didn't wholeheartedly agree with the lax behavior, but he said he'd try and give it a shot.

    So. I sent out the emails.
    And really. Not even that many.
    Let's see.
    Water. Dreamwalker. Athelwulf. WesMorris. SpuriousMonkey.
    That was it.
    Spurious and Wes I got ahold of through their websites. SPurious didn't show until way after the whole thing had already been happening. So. It was basically a base of 4 people that gathered the hundred. I think the majority actually were pulled in via google after the few were gathered and they sent word to those they knew and people started showing up and posting about "temporary sciforums".

    That phrase was a phrase which I never uttered, by the way. I never would have. I was even not wanting to mention the name Sciforums out of respect to this forum. But, if the name had not been mentioned. Again and again and again. The number of refugees that finally gathered would not have been as large as it eventually became.

    Interesting dynamics involved in the whole process.
    I can't wait to read the paper. I wish I'd thought of it.
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  25. #24  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    The interesting part is this forum has now moved way up in the search engine rankings and now even outranks the very forum that helped push it forward. Was it for a reason? One has to wonder.
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  26. #25  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Here. The pm's between InSanity and I. I'm sure he won't mind. (I hope. If so. I'll delete.)

    =====================
    Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:27 pm
    Subject: Re: Do you want new members?

    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Quote Originally Posted by Drecksus
    Ok. Look.
    I think we should talk.
    It's official. Our old forum (www.sciforums.com in case you've heard of it) is dead in the water. For at least a month. And now many, many people are without a home. I don't know how most of them are taking it, but I am missing it terribly.

    Do you want new members?
    I'm no social butterfly and don't have everyone's email address. But I do have a few. And those few have a few. And etc...
    I can point them to your forum.
    But. I'm not sure that this is the place to be.
    Why?
    Because of the censorship for one thing.
    Fuck. (Will this read as fudge? Even pm's are censored?) And shit.

    I can understand you not wanting your forum trashed. But the truth is that Sciforums was a wonderful place (and quite popular) because of its lax view on such things. We could be adults there and talk like adults. The conversation ranged all over the place. Sometimes dipping into the abusive when idiots emerged to ply their trade. And there are also members who use insulting as a means of communication. Abrasive. But. This doesn't mean that intelligent conversation is precluded.

    So. Can we deal or do we need to keep looking?
    Frankly, I'm somewhat interested in getting in on the ground floor so to speak. There is a month's opportunity here. Maybe longer. The owner of SciForums is going to be off trekking in the desert for a month and won't be able to fix the problem with his database until he gets back.

    I've got my fingers crossed.
    You don't know how much I miss Sci. If you take this offer then you'll be taking on a family. I want you to know that. Families sometimes bicker. But we care.
    Give us a home, kind stranger.

    By the way, if you agree and if this brings in people. You're going to need more moderators.

    -[Name Removed]

    I'm actually a very open person to new ideas. I'll be happy to remove the language sensors, in reality it's only filtering about 3 words.

    As to moderators I would have to agree.

    Bring on the users, we can make adjustments as needed. I just ask not to expect radical change overnight.

    Thanks, [Name removed]
    ================================
    Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:45 pm
    Subject: Re: Do you want new members?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drecksus
    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    I'm actually a very open person to new ideas. I'll be happy to remove the language sensors, in reality it's only filtering about 3 words.

    As to moderators I would have to agree.

    Bring on the users, we can make adjustments as needed. I just ask not to expect radical change overnight.

    Thanks, [Name Removed]

    Excellent. *Mr. Burns voice*
    Kidding.

    Seriously.
    Thanks, man.

    I'll send out the word.
    Like I said I don't have everyone's address but I do have some. And they have others. Word will spread.

    This forum will breathe.
    ==========================

    Hmmm.
    Coulda swore that I mentioned the thing about Sciforums being the most interesting forum on the net and also us being the most interesting of the place... Guess I wasn't as arrogant as I thought. Ah. I remember. I ran the idea past Abraxas as it was originally her that found the place and that's what she said to me.
    Let's see if I can find her quote.

    Here it is:
    <blockquote><blockquote>"been thinking that perhaps we should discuss this openly with the forum owner and see if we can't get him to deal. Drop this stupid censorship bullshit and lax up on some of the rules that they apparently see as 'appropriate'. "</blockquote>
    Excellent idea. If you let him know what he's getting: some of the best/interesting posters from one of the best/interesting forums on the net.

    Let him know he'd be inheriting a family, and that the small price to pay for it would be getting rid of those fucking, fucking, fucking censors.</blockquote>
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  27. #26  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Don't mind the PM's being posted.

    As to the censorship, I still will uphold certain standards. Call me what you will
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  28. #27  
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    Hi, Pete. I cast my vote for no restrictions on quotes as I do believe these
    these forums are public. I am not familiar with exact copyright laws, only
    most sites I have visited will state if it is necessary to get permission before cut & pasting their copyrighted material. Most don't have any restrictions, of course, other than I thought it was proper to give credit to
    the author of material one quotes.

    I had seen this forum, along with several other science forums, before
    sciforums crashed the first time. There just wasn't discussion in the specific topics that were of interest to me personally, so I didn't register
    or participate. No one 'led' me here, except perhaps google. I finally registered after seeing other refugees show up. This wasn't the only forum
    where sciforums refugees appeared, of course, they were on others which
    I am sure you are familiar with. Every forum is different, one just chooses
    the ones in which they feel most comfortable.
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  29. #28  
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    I'm not sure about copyright laws, but the terms of agreement upon registration are pretty clear about this regard:

    As a user you agree to any information you have entered above being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent the webmaster, administrator and moderators cannot be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.
    However, I do find this to be a reasonably 'odd' term of agreement. How can administrators in any way ensure that no third party (which can be any random individual) has access to the information or copies it? :?

    But, since nobody these days reads the Terms of Agreement (I do, force of habit :P), I doubt anyone would really use that because it would not hold up in court..

    Oh, and I agree to the publishing of posts as long as I am properly credited

    Mr U
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  30. #29  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I could care less unless you use them in some sort of bad or wrong way.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    I'm not sure about copyright laws, but the terms of agreement upon registration are pretty clear about this regard:

    As a user you agree to any information you have entered above being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent the webmaster, administrator and moderators cannot be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.
    However, I do find this to be a reasonably 'odd' term of agreement. How can administrators in any way ensure that no third party (which can be any random individual) has access to the information or copies it? :?

    But, since nobody these days reads the Terms of Agreement (I do, force of habit :P), I doubt anyone would really use that because it would not hold up in court..

    Oh, and I agree to the publishing of posts as long as I am properly credited

    Mr U
    HU, that is referring to the users account information..not the posts.
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  32. #31  
    Forum Sophomore Pete's Avatar
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    Thanks for the PMs, guys, that helps me a lot.

    How would you prefer to be attributed?
    By username, anonymously, or by some descriptive title?

    (In)Sanity, I'd like to refer to you as the site owner (with or without your name or username) if you permit it. I would also like your specific permission to name thescienceforum.com in my work, otherwise I'll call it "site B" or something. (Naming sites without permission is considered a borderline ethical issue in online community research).

    HU, would you like to be credited for your quotes by username?
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  33. #32  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    You can either use my username, or maybe you could call me 'that needy mook', or 'stupid asshole', or maybe just the simple 'donkey-raping shit-eater'.

    Whichever you prefer...

    (I wonder who the two are who don't want the quotes used? Ashamed or anything?)
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  34. #33  
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    Yeah -- like the *whole* world will know username and start stifling giggles. I don't get it. Who's username? Will I be able to point him/her out on the street? Why the permit to use username's name when no one in the real world knows who username even looks like?
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    You can either use my username, or maybe you could call me 'that needy mook', or 'stupid asshole', or maybe just the simple 'donkey-raping shit-eater'.

    Whichever you prefer...

    (I wonder who the two are who don't want the quotes used? Ashamed or anything?)
    I am one of your student, sir. Can i give your real name and location too to the paper writer, sir. Please read back some of your posts,sir.
    Don't panic, sir. I won't do that if you say 'No' sir. Its upto you,sir.
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  36. #35  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    What the hell are you rambling about, Everneo?
    My real name is my own, my username is public.
    What does one have to do with the other?
    The truth is that my real name is as insignificant as my username. It's just another name in a world full of names. But, it's mine, and in this world it is a sign of respect to give out our real names. In fact, you could say that people that give out their real names at the drop of a hat in this world are disrespectful. If you give something away for nothing then it loses value. The divulging of a real name is one of the methods of social bonding available to us in this world. Those who see it as insignificant remove one of those methods of social bonding.

    I can tell you that only... 4 people online know my name. Two of those people only know my first name. 2 know my last name. Why should I give you my name, O Stranger?

    But. My 'quotes' are available for all. Even the quotes where I'm acting like a squalling brat. So what?

    Anyway. Now, I'm rambling. And I'm not even sure what you're on about unless you're trying to say that I'm ashamed of my words because I don't hand out my real name like some kind of party favor or something.
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  37. #36 Re: Ethics of research involving online identities 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    I'm preparing a conference paper (scrambling to meet the extended deadline) that explores the incident of Sciforums going down a couple of months ago, how the community coped, and the effects on this community.
    Shoot, I've deleted that PM, but spidergoat said something to the effect of how the Sciforums community is like a bodiless entity that gets together wherever it can, reassembling itself.

    Well, aren't we famous!
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  38. #37  
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    (In)Sanity, I'd like to refer to you as the site owner (with or without your name or username) if you permit it. I would also like your specific permission to name thescienceforum.com in my work, otherwise I'll call it "site B" or something. (Naming sites without permission is considered a borderline ethical issue in online community research).
    Feel free to use site name and or username. I'm pretty sure this place can hold up to anything except for perhaps being slash-dotted. It would fail to hold up to that mainly because it's not tunned for it. It's unreal the amount of traffic that can produce.
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  39. #38  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Pete,

    There's another dynamic you might consider discussing.

    The disenfranchised who feel not merely an ennui for their former home, but a scornful glee that it is suffering. For one reason or another, these people despise the old home and are happy that it's gone. They chip in their resentment whenever they can. They pour their derision upon what they viewed as immature and inane characters over there, but in the process prove themselves to be exactly what they are deriding.

    I know of two such on this forum. There is likely more in other forums.


    You might also consider the disenfranchised that left the place even before they had to. Sciforums gets negative treatment from other forums. (In)Sanity has mentioned this somewhere... in the profanity thread, I believe (which was originally Abraxas' introduction thread). How he's getting 'warned' about us.

    I searched a few forums at the time and noticed that the name 'Sciforums' actually came up quite a bit. Certain individuals resenting their failure to integrate (or perhaps other reasons) obsess over the place and constantly try damage the reputation of the place by slanderous comments every chance they get.

    These latter types would take much more research to delve into, of course, because their stories take place over a much longer period of time than the 'refugees'.
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  40. #39  
    Forum Freshman Zanket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James R
    Arrrgghh!
    James R, while we wait for sciforums to come back online, if you wish, we can continue our discussion in this thread on this site.
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  41. #40  
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    Thanks again for all comments.

    Yes, the multiple reactions of the disenfranchised are interesting... I've got all sorts of ideas floating around that I'm trying to organize, and also trying to filter down to keep this first paper to a reasonable scope. I'll hopefully use much more in future.

    Who's username? Will I be able to point him/her out on the street? Why the permit to use username's name when no one in the real world knows who username even looks like?
    This is a really interesting issue that involves the whole concept of Identity. It's less important in this type of community, but in muds and Moos it is much more striking.

    The point is that an online persona (ie a "username") can possibly be just as much an identity as a Real-Life person, and should possibly be accorded the same respect.
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  42. #41  
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    Pete,

    So having SciForums down again, does this offer any other information or is it kind of irrelevant at this point? I've noticed some members who have come back for the second time appear to be a bit upset but less so then the first time. Also the optimism has kind of went out the window. Just my observations.
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  43. #42  
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    As has been said, these are public forums, so I expect anyone has a right to quote from them. I wonder if copyright has any application though. If an image is put on the internet that doesn't give everyone the right to copy it.

    There may very well be legal issues involved regarding copyright, if you intend copying portions of text.
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  44. #43  
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    i have no problem with you quoting me, but if you mention the name of the forum, we will undoubtedly get trolled by 90% of the people who read your paper
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  45. #44  
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    Well, you do own copyright over your messages unless you explicitely agree to turn them over to the public domain, or to another user. Now, I didn't find anything of the sort in the Terms of Agreement. Basically, if you post a story here (well, fan fiction is a whole different matter (but if you can prove it is satire, you still own the rights)), the rights to the story will still belong to you.

    Is it (In)Sanity? The storage of information on a database is a bit dubious, meaning it could mean either or both :?.

    Pete, I don't mind either way. Just find the way that best suits the style of the article .

    Mr U
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  46. #45  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Hey, Pete

    If you don't have it, you might be interested in this pdf file: http://www.aoir.org/reports/ethics.pdf (327k).

    The main webpage is http://www.aoir.org/ and the organization is The Association of Internet Researchers. The document itself is Ethical decision-making and Internet research: Recommendations from the aoir ethics working committee.

    I haven't read it in over a year, but I found it interesting and helpful then.

    I'm guessing you already know of the AOIR, but I thought I'd share it with you just in case.
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