Tag Archives: Elvira Perez Vallejos

Academy of Social Sciences conference on Ethics and Social Media Research

A one-day conference dedicated to the topic of Ethics and Social Media Research, by the Academy of Social Science. #SoMeEthics.

10:00 Registration and coffee – 7th floor
10:30 Keynote 1 – 3rd floor, seminar room 12
“The Ethical Disruptions of Social Media Research: tales from the field.” Professor Susan Halford, Director Web Science Institute, University of Southampton
11:30 Parallel Session 1 – 3rd floor
A: Ethical Practicalities (I) – seminar room 11
B: Blurred Lines – seminar room 12
C: Social Media Research Ethics: Sharing Best Practice – seminar room 13
1300 Lunch – 7th Floor
1400 Parallel Session 2 – 3rd floor
D: Critical Ethical Reflections – seminar room 11
E: Ethical Practicalities (II) – seminar room 12
F: Panel Session – seminar room 13
1530 Coffee
1600 Keynote 2 – 3rd floor, seminar room 12
“Where next for #SocialEthics?” Steven Ginnis and Harry Evans, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI
1700 Closing remarks
Followed by a Wine Reception, kindly sponsored by Sage Publishing – 7th floor

General Data Protection Regulation: Implications for Children Digital Rights

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) information society services that wish to process any personal information related to a child under the age of 16 years will require parental/guardian consent. The GDPR is the European Commission’s tool that will unify data protection in the EU and there are plans for it to be adopted in 2018. In the most recent GDPR draft released by the European Council, the age limit where parental consent is mandatory has raised from 13 to 16 years. The implications for children digital rights are not well understood and, at the moment, nobody knows if this regulation will protect children or by the contrary make them more vulnerable. Something certain is that, until now, minimal consultation to incorporate the children voice has taken place and consequently, children’s digital rights are not being treated with the respect or seriousness they deserve.

consent comic Continue reading General Data Protection Regulation: Implications for Children Digital Rights

iRight Youth Juries: Promoting Digital Rights

child judgecorp_civilcourt Three-quarters of British adults are concerned over unauthorised access to their private information online. Parents in particular are becoming highly concerned about the challenges, risks and consequences that social media usage, cyberbullying, data privacy and online behaviour may have on users, especially children and young people. Much debate is now contemplating the possibility of re-balancing the power between citizens, government and corporations to ensure that civic and human rights in the physical word also apply in the digital one. To explore these issues and promote digital literacy among the general population, the CaSMa research team presents an innovative format to bring people together and facilitate reflection on digital rights. During the event, the audience will watch a short movie and be invited to become part of a ‘jury’ that will discuss: – What are digital rights? – What should potential and possible digital rights be? – Ways in which digital rights (or their absence) can affect us. – Ways of further engaging with the general population in thinking about and acting upon digital rights. This ‘jury’ approach is similar to a focus group, but one in which participants have an explicit objective of arriving at specific recommendations, thereby promoting a sense of responsibility amongst the group, and enhancing discussion. Once the participants have had an opportunity to engage with the issues of digital rights, and experience the ‘jury’ based method, they will be presented with research outcomes from a project which used this method with children and young people, called iRights Youth Juries. There will then be ample opportunity to discuss the findings with our research team. The jury brings an engaging element to the ESRC Festival and an effective tool to facilitate discussion, reflection and learning on digital rights. By becoming part of a jury, participants will experience first-hand this research method and further understand connections between drama education and digital education. We will promote the event to the general public through our proposed venue, Galleries of Justice, through local media and city council events listings, the CaSMa project website: http://casma.wp.horizon.ac.uk/, and our network of stakeholder partners including iRights.

To register for the event, go to: http://irightsyouthjuries.eventbrite.co.uk

Get educated…and Protect Your Children!

MonicaBlog_imageI approach the topic of young people’s rights on the internet not only as a researcher but as a mother. How will I inform and protect my children from the complex interactions young people experience online that lead to their mental health being affected?

Continue reading Get educated…and Protect Your Children!

20 Years of ETHICOMP: A Celebration


The whole CaSMa team joined ETHICOMP2015 at De Montfort University (Leicester) early last week. EHICOMP2015 was a fantastic ‘old school reunion’ that gathered well established researchers in the field  – to discuss the role of computing in our societies and the question of the ethical values and consequences linked to the ever-growing importance of technology in our lives. The ETHICOMP community claims to be more than a highly multidisciplinary group of academics and industry related partners, and definitely more than a conference. ETHICOMP aims to be a ‘community mentor’ that would go beyond the usual conference academic output, and I could not disagree with this statement. A notorious aspect of this conference was the non-hierarchical, approachable and friendly attitude of delegates, presenters and keynote speakers and an obvious willingness to be as inclusive as possible. Continue reading 20 Years of ETHICOMP: A Celebration

ACM Web Science 2015

The 2015 ACM Web Science conference WebSci’15 is being held at the Oxford e-Research Centre and Keble College, Oxford, with an excellent programme of over 60 papers and posters, alongside seven exciting Web Science workshops, plus keynotes, panels and Late Breaking Research. The conference runs from Sunday 28 June to Wednesday 1 July, and is the seventh in the conference series organised by the Web Science Trust.

Web Science is the emergent study of the people and technologies, applications, processes and practices that shape and are shaped by the World Wide Web. Web Science aims to draw together theories, methods and findings from across academic disciplines, and to collaborate with industry, business, government and civil society, to develop our knowledge and understanding of the Web: the largest socio-technical infrastructure in human history. This year’s paper sessions are themed around Politics & Culture, Data Challenges, Online Social Behaviour, Innovating Methods, Ethics, Digital Narratives, and Social Safety and Wellbeing.

CaSMa participated in this conference with two ‘Late Breaking Research’ presentations:

  • A tailored web, filtered to your personal profile’, by Ansgar Koene, related to a project we are developing with regards to Ethical, Privacy and Agency implications of personalized information filtering systems.
  • ‘Acting Out Digital Dilemmas to Promote Digital Reflections’, by Elvira Perez Vallejos, related to the iRights project.

Internet on Trial: Celebration or Paranoia?

by Sumit Garg
by Sumit Garg

Internet is frequently held to be transforming social relationships, the economy, and vast areas of public and private life across all ages and, probably very soon, across all cultures no matter how remotely they are located (thanks to initiatives like Internet.org). Such arguments are routinely recycled in popular debates, in advertising and publicity materials, and indeed in academic contexts as well. Research discussions of the internet veer between celebration and paranoia; on the one hand the technology is seen to create new forms of community and civic life and to offer immense resources for personal liberation and empowerment, while on the other it poses dangers to privacy, to create new forms of inequality and commercial exploitation, as well as leaving the individual prey to addiction and pornography. Continue reading Internet on Trial: Celebration or Paranoia?

BAAL workshop on Ethics of Online Research Methods

BAAL Language and New Media SIG 2015 Workshop

Workshop aims

Today, more than ever, data are widely accessible, visible, and searchable for research in digital media contexts. At the same time, new data types and collection methods challenge existing approaches to research ethics and raise significant and difficult questions for researchers who design, undertake and disseminate research in and about digital environments.
The aims of this workshop are to bring together researchers who use online research methods and data in different subfields of applied linguistics, to discuss ethical considerations in online data collection and analysis, to identify challenges and share solutions to ethical issues arising from applied linguistics research.

Keynote speakers

Alexandra Georgakopoulou (King’s College London)
Claire Hardaker (Lancaster University)
Annette Markham (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Stephen Pihlaja (Newman University, Birmingham)

Contact Details

Tereza Spilioti, email: SpiliotiT1@cardiff.ac.uk
Helen Clifford, email : encap-events2015@cardiff.ac.uk


CaSMa provided two contributions to this workshop:

Ansgar Koene presented: Participant Consent and Withdrawal when using publicly archived data

Abstract: In this paper we start by critically analysing the publicness of various types of online archived data and discussing under which conditions such archives relieve researchers from their ethical requirement to seek consent from, and provide opportunities for withdrawal to, participants. We will argue that, from the perspective of the participants who contribute data to online platforms, most online data cannot be classified into binary categories of public of private, but lies within a spectrum between these extremes. If we consider, for instance, the way in which many people use Twitter, we observe that twitter conservations often take the form of discourses within friend networks rather than public announcements. By analogy we might consider such conversations akin to a discussion between acquaintances in a public space, like a café. While the participants are willing to accept that their conversation can be heard by other people in same space, they would not be comfortable with the idea that someone is systematically eavesdropping and analysing their discussion. We should note in this context that the fact Twitter automatically archives such conversations is not consciously considered by most Twitter users. In the second half of our paper we take a closer look at the case of Twitter for which we will discuss a range of participant consent and withdrawal procedures. We will present the outcome of a feasibility pilot in which we surveyed the willingness of Twitter users to provide informed consent for having past tweets analysed when the specific research question is clearly explained to them. Based on this survey we will also discuss if, and how, the filtering of participants based on willingness to consent might skew the resulting data. We conclude with a set of recommendations for participant consent and withdrawal procedures to be used when accessing online archived data.


Elvira Perez Vallejos presented: Ethical considerations for online mental health communication research

Abstract: Young people experience severe and potentially long-lasting psychological difficulties, yet many perceive difficulties in communicating their concerns to professionals and only a fraction receive available support services. We propose to investigate the linguistic strategies with which adolescents present mental health concerns in online settings, the barriers they identify in communicating their experiences and how these might be alleviated. The study will utilise an interdisciplinary team, applying expertise in applied linguistics and human computer interaction to elucidate adolescents’ expressions and experiences of psychological distress. Relevant for this workshop will be the ethical considerations regarding informed consent, trust, anonymity issues, privacy and the right to withdraw. We will discuss the potential challenges regarding data access and analysis from a user centric perspective and potential solutions such as explicit opt-out/opt-in recruitment strategies. The results will inform subsequent planning and design of online research including vulnerable young people.

iRights Youth Juries


On April 9th the first two iRights Youth Juries were held at University of Nottingham. In collaboration with the civil society initiative, iRights, and Prof. Coleman’s lab from University of Leeds, CaSMa will be running 12 Youth Juries to allow children and young people to have a say about their rights on the internet. At the Youth Juries groups of 10 to 15 participants, aged 12-17, are asked to consider, debate and share ideas about the future of the internet.

Continue reading iRights Youth Juries

iRights Nottingham Youth Juries

What are the iRights Youth Juries?
The iRights Youth Juries are special events to allow children and young people to have a say about their rights on the internet. At the Youth Juries participants will be asked to consider, debate and share ideas about the future of the internet.

What are they aiming to achieve?
The results of the Youth Juries will feed into a major national report, which will be published by iRights in collaboration with The University of Leeds and The University of Nottingham (CaSMa). The report will provide evidence about young people’s views on the future of the internet and their rights online and will feed into future policy by government, industry and academic networks as a part of the wider iRights campaign to highlight the importance of young people’s rights on the internet.

Who can take part?
The Youth Juries are open to young people aged 12-17 years from a wide range of backgrounds and areas. Each Youth Jury will be attended by a group of 10-15 young people. Participants don’t need to have any experience or qualifications to take part.

What can I expect at the Youth Jury?
The Youth Jury will be highly interactive and will feature actors and scenarios as a way of sparking debate. It will be fun and engaging, and will allow the space for everyone to put their opinions across. Participants will be asked to complete a short survey at the beginning and end of each jury session’