The ethics of social media analytics in migration studies

Jamie Mahoney, Kahina Le Louvier, Shaun Lawson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The prevalence of social media platforms and their use across the globe makes them attractive options for studying large groups of people, particularly when some of these platforms provide access to large amounts of structured data. However, with the collection, storage and use of this data comes ethical and legal responsibilities, which are particularly important when looking at social groups such as migrants who are often stigmatised and criminalised. Various guidelines, frameworks and laws have been developed to ensure social media data is used in the most ethical way. However, they have quickly evolved within the past few years and are scattered across various fields and domains. To help researchers navigate these issues, this chapter provides an overview of the ethical considerations of studying migration via social media platforms. Building on relevant academic literature as well as national and supranational frameworks and legislations, we review how the main ethical issues related to social media research have been discussed in the past 20 years and outline good practice examples to mitigate them. This overview is designed to provide researchers with theoretical and practical tools to consider and mitigate the ethical challenges related to social media research in migration-related contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation and Communications Technology in Support of Migration
EditorsBabak Akhgar, Karen Latricia Hough, Yara Abdel Samad, Petra Saskia Bayerl, Anastasios Karakostas
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030932664
ISBN (Print)9783030932657, 9783030932688
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameSecurity Informatics and Law Enforcement
ISSN (Print)2523-8507
ISSN (Electronic)2523-8515


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