Forskningsetik i cyberrymden

Per-Olof Ågren


Cyberspace is growing. In a place where more and more people meet, we can be sure that researchers will follow. Do we need other ethical guidelines for research in Cyberspace than in the physical world? Existing ethical guidelines imply both certain interpretations of Cyberspace and method-ological restrictions. Postings in virtual settings must be interpreted as speech in order to retain the anonymity of the people acting in those settings. Otherwise the researcher may run the risk of violating copyright laws. When avatars in virtual settings are studied, the avatars must be interpreted as having a certain privacy and be protected in order to safeguard the individuals behind the avatars. Finally, it is impossible to use unobtrusive observation as a data collection method if existing ethical guidelines are to be followed.

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