CME EVENT: How to operationalise decency? Or some ideas on the ethics of studying social media visuals — Kat Tiidenberg

March 13, 2018

April 10, 10-11am

Room S9.01 Monash Caulfield Campus


As researchers, we have access to many procedural ethics guidelines. Typically, these focus on doing no harm, which is considered to be accomplishable primarily through procedures of informed consent and confidentiality. However, there is mounting critique of the insufficiency of this approach, especially by social researchers, who use ethnographic or qualitative methods; who engage in what can broadly be called internet research; who study vulnerable people, or sensitive topics; or work at the intersection of some of the above. This talk is about the messy, impossible and difficult situations, decisions, and what-if imaginaries when studying visual practices and cultures on social media.


Kat Tiidenberg, PhD is an Associate Professor of Social Media and Visual Culture at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University, Estonia and a post-doctoral researcher at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is the author of the forthcoming "Selfies, why we love (and hate) them", as well as "Body and Soul on the Internet - making sense of social media" (in Estonian). Tiidenberg is a a long time member of the Association of Internet Researcher's Ethics Committee, a founding member of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences, second time board member of the Estonian Sociology Association. She is currently writing and publishing on selfie culture, digital research ethics and visual research methods. Her research interests include visual self-presentation, sexuality, and normative ideologies as mediated through social media practices.


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