This is a formal commentary, responding to Matthew Curran Benigni, Kenneth Joseph, and Kathleen Carley’s contribution, “Online extremism and the communities that sustain it: Detecting the ISIS supporting community on Twitter”. This brief review reflects on the ethics of big data research methodologies, and how novel methods complicate long-standing principles of research ethics. Specifically, the concept of the “data subject” as a corollary, or replacement, of “human subject” is considered.
Citation: Buchanan E (2017) Considering the ethics of big data research: A case of Twitter and ISIS/ISIL. PLoS ONE 12(12): e0187155. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187155
Publisher (Open Access): http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187155