VOX-Pol Pre-Conference Workshop 2 – Internet Research Ethics for Violent Extremism & Terrorism Researchers


Internet Research Ethics for Violent Extremism & Terrorism Researchers

Date and time

Wednesday, 22 June from 9:00am to 1:00pm


Prof. Elizabeth Buchanan (University of Wisconsin)
Prof. Charles Ess (University of Oslo)


Download PowerPoint Presentation file 1 – New Methodological, Ethical, and Regulatory Considerations in Internet, Social Media, and Big Data Research by Dr. Charles Ess

Download PowerPoint Presentation file 2- Issues in Contemporary Internet Research Ethics by Prof. Elizabeth Buchanan


This workshop is targeted at those researching violent extremism, and terrorism, and the Internet, particularly PhD students, early career researchers, and anybody who wishes to reflect on the ethical aspects of their research practice.

We propose to describe and debate the following issues, amongst others:

–       The evolution of Internet research ethics from the mid-1990s to today;

–       EU Data Protection issues, including what constitutes ‘personal data’ and ‘sensitive personal data’ and researcher exceptions;

–       The ‘public’ versus ‘private’ debate with respect to online data and how informed consent plays out in each setting;

–       Discovering information online concerning potential or imminent harm to others;

–       Risks to online researchers from research subjects and/or the authorities;

–       Using “grey data” (i.e. data that someone else leaked);

–       Norms surrounding identification of online data subjects in published results;

–       Dealing with Institutional Review Boards/Ethics Review Boards.

Internet Research Ethics Guidelines 

Association of Internet Researchers’ (AoIR) ‘Ethical Decision-making and Internet Research 2.0: Recommendations From the AoIR Ethics Working Committee’ (2012).

British Psychological Society’s Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research (2013).

Useful/Preliminary Readings

Buchanan, Elizabeth and Michael Zimmer. 2012.  ‘Internet Research Ethics.’ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (Ed.).

Hallvard, Fossheim and Helene Ingierd (Eds.). 2015. Internet Research Ethics. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Reynolds, Ted. 2012. ‘Ethical and Legal Issues Surrounding Academic Research into Online Radicalisation: A UK Experience.’ Critical Studies on Terrorism 5(3).

Von Hippel, William. 2015. ‘Ethically Questionable Research.’ In Robert J. Sternberg and Susan T. Fiske (Eds.), Ethical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): pp.’s 155 – 156.

Other Resources

Ben Zevenbergen’s Networked Systems Ethics wiki.





9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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