Now accepting submissions
ICWSM 2018: Exploring Ethical Trade-Offs in Social Media Research
Organizers: Casey Fiesler (University of Colorado Boulder), Stevie Chancellor (Georgia Tech), Katie Shilton (University of Maryland), Jessica Vitak (University of Maryland), Michael Zimmer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Over the past decade, social media and user-generated content platforms have increasingly become rich research sites for the study of both computation and human behavior. This new source of pervasive human data has also sparked discussions within the research community about ethical challenges, and high profile examples have raised public awareness of ethical challenges as social media scholarship gains greater visibility. However, the research community lacks clear norms, and disagreement often comes down to how to identify and weigh potential benefits and harms. The goal of this workshop is to explore the most pressing ethical dilemmas within social media research, and how the ICWSM research community can best consider the ethical implications of our research and methods without compromising important work. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to shape a set of working guidelines to help researchers think through the ethics of social media research methods.

GROUP 2016: Ethics and Obligations for Studying Digital Communities
Organizers: Casey Fiesler (University of Colorado Boulder), Pamela Wisniewski (University of Central Florida), Jessica Pater (Georgia Tech), Nazanin Andalibi (Drexel)

Many of the most prominent and unanswered ethical questions within HCI and social computing involve our ethical obligation to the communities that we study. Some of these questions fall under the purview of more traditional human subjects research ethics, but others hinge on when, for example, studies of public data trigger similar obligations. Basic rules to “do no harm” are complicated in digital communities by issues of consent and privacy, and ethics review boards are struggling to keep up even as research communities are similarly struggling to form appropriate norms. The goals of this workshop are to continue seeding conversations about research ethics within the SIGCHI community, to work towards norm setting, and in the meantime, to collectively help community members make good ethical decisions about research into sociotechnical systems and digital communities.

ICWSM 2016: Challenges and Futures for Ethical Social Media Research
Organizers: Casey Fiesler (University of Colorado Boulder), Anna Lauren Hoffmann (Berkeley), Nicholas Proferes (University of Maryland), Stevie Chancellor (Georgia Tech), Jessica Pater (Georgia Tech)

Social media and user-generated content platforms have opened up new possibilities for communication and creativity while also providing huge amounts of information about people and their online behavior. The evolution of technology and research methods presents ongoing ethical challenges to studying people and their digital traces. These challenges are a continuing source of discussion within the research community and also a topic of public discourse as social media scholarship gains greater visibility. This workshop is aimed at exploring difficult and unanswered ethical questions, touching on issues such as consent, privacy, and responsibility, as well as developing a set of best practices for social media and big data research.

CSCW 2015: Ethics for Studying Sociotechnical Systems in a Big Data World
Organizers: Casey Fiesler (University of Colorado Boulder), Alyson Young (IUPUI), Tamara Peyton (Harrisburg University), Amy Bruckman (Georgia Tech), Mary Gray (Microsoft Research), Jeff Hancock (Stanford), Wayne Lutters (UMBC)

The evolution of social technology and research methods present ongoing challenges to studying people online. Recent high-profile cases have prompted discussion among both the research community and the general public about the ethical implications of researching humans, their information, and their activities in large-scale digital contexts. Examples of scientific and market research involving Facebook users and OKCupid clients exemplify the ethical complexities of both studying and manipulating online user behavior. When does data science become human subjects research, and what are our obligations to these subjects as researchers? Drawing from previous work around the ethics of digital research, one goal of this workshop is to work towards a set of guiding principles for CSCW scholars doing research online.