In December 2015, I created a separate, professional Facebook account at the recommendation of SMU’s Internal Review Board for ethical human research. The account includes my about me statement to explain both who I am and the basics of my research. This Facebook account, clearly states that I am an anthropologist and I’m utilizing the account to conduct research on Facebook. The Facebook Profile for this account includes information about my education at SMU and UCA. It includes links to my websites http://FacebookShrines.com and http://sydneyyeager.org It also displays my SMU email address so that anyone can contact me.
On this professional Facebook account, I will add professional contacts, local acquaintances, all people relevant to my research, and most people who request to be my Facebook Friend. Everyone added to this professional account will be sent a private message informing them about my research and that the account is my professional account. As I am being granted access equivalent to that of a friend and the ethics dictate that all the digital information gathered in this way MUST be handled with the utmost care. All identifying information will be kept confidential. Data analysis should not in any way interfere with the participant’s Facebook use and they can at any time revoke the researcher’s access. The only content I will post to this professional account will be anthropological, grief counselling or links to her professional blogs or websites. I will continue to disclosure my research methods and current information about my project on this website. Informational guides, such as those on Facebook’s privacy settings, its new “legacy contact” feature, and digital wills published on this site, will be shared and occasionally re-shared on her professional Facebook account.