The Investigator’s Dilemma - A Review of Social Media Analytics Research Ethics in Information Systems


  • Julian Marx University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Milad Mirbabaie Paderborn University



Social Media Analytics, Ethics, Information Systems


Social media have become not only integral parts of our private and professional lives, but also an indispensable source of data for empirical research across a variety of academic disciplines. Applying a Social Media Analytics (SMA) methodology, however, imposes heavy ethical challenges on researchers. Scholars in the Information Systems (IS) discipline must deal with a patchwork of ethical frameworks, regulations, and (missing) institutional support. To initiate a debate on how to develop a common understanding of SMA research ethics, this paper compiles a scoping review of extant literature and suggests a research agenda for IS scholarship on this matter. The review yields a total of eight fundamental principles of ethical SMA research, which provide a starting point to guiding individual researchers towards more ethical conduct. At the same time, this work unearths a multitude of intricate dilemmas that are currently unresolved. The findings of this review will encourage IS scholarship to find its own voice in the debate about social media research ethics.


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How to Cite

Marx, J., & Mirbabaie, M. (2022). The Investigator’s Dilemma - A Review of Social Media Analytics Research Ethics in Information Systems. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 26.



Research on Applied Ethics