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Warfield, K., Hoholuk, J., Vincent, B., & Camargo, A. D. (2019). Pics, Dicks, Tits, and Tats: negotiating ethics working with images of bodies in social media research. New Media & Society, 21(9), 2068–2086. Communication & Mass Media Complete. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819837715


With the rise of camera-enabled cellphones and social media platforms that focus on vernacular images (e.g. Instagram™ and Snapchat™), researchers and intuitional ethics boards increasingly seek guidelines for research using digital images of bodies shared on social media. This article presents the findings of in-depth interviews with 16 researchers who have received institutional ethics approval to study images of bodies shared on social media platforms. The interviews explored the researchers' (a) processes of selecting their methodologies, (b) experiences getting institutional ethics approval, and (c) personal research ethics that emerged through their research programs. The findings indicate that researchers and review boards generally lack resources. Researchers often adhered to contextual integrity, were protective while not patronizing, and adopted a feminist materialist ethics of care, which included consideration of the manifold human and nonhuman forces at play in the lifespan of images in digital research. Researchers also practiced strategies like ongoing consent, "ethics-on-the-go," ethical visual fabrication, and conscious omission. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]