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  • 00:03


  • 00:10

    JENNA CONDIE: Hello, my name is Jenna Condie.And I'm a lecturer in digital researchand online social analysis at Western SydneyUniversity in Australia.And I'm going to be talking about our researchand the ethics of doing research in Tinder.We're looking at Tinder and how peopleuse Tinder, the dating app, when they're traveling

  • 00:32

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: and how geolocational apps mediate travel experiences.[WHAT ARE THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF YOUR RESEARCH?]So our research project is calledTravel in the Digital Age.And we're interested in how digital technologies are beingused by people when traveling and how

  • 00:53

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: these different technologies are mediating and changingpeople's travel experiences and enablingdifferent social encounters to happenand making different experiences more possible.And one of the platforms that we're looking at in particularis Tinder.Tinder is quite an interesting platform.It's fairly new.

  • 01:13

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: It's been around since 2012.And it's increasing in popularity.And it holds a firm place in the media spotlight.People are interested in Tinder and howit's refashioning romantic and sexual relationshipsand linking the use of geolocational appsmore broadly to increases in STIs.

  • 01:35

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: So we're looking at Tinder in a different light and geolocationapps within this travel context.[WHY USE TINDER?]Tinder is one app in particular that's actually positioneditself within the marketing place as an app

  • 01:55

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: that people can use for when traveling.And Passport is it's feature that youcan pay for to then go in search in other places aheadof travel.And people are using that whilst travelingand on the move for different purposes for leisureand for work.So we wanted to look at Tinder in particular as a sort

  • 02:18

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: of a mainstream popular site in orderto answer our research questions aroundhow geolocational apps are shaping travel experiences.[WHAT METHODS WILL YOU USE AND WHY?]So our research study has two main methods at this point.

  • 02:42

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: And we're currently in the processesof working our way through the ethics approval process.The first component, we want to do a content analysisof users' Tinder profiles to lookat how people are presenting themselves onlineand how they're using that space for travel purposesto meet people whilst they're on the move.

  • 03:05

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: And there's two ways that we could do that.We could do that manually by setting up our profilesand then going in there and swiping through the accounts.Or we could do that an automated way usingan API to scrape the data to capture that dataand then analyze that as a data set.

  • 03:26

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: The second component is around using an online questionnaire,which is actually shifting at the moment towards moreparticipatory approaches to research.So we were really sort of inspiredby digital storytelling approachesand wanting to make the most of the webto do our research in an open and engaging way.

  • 03:47

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: So now, we're looking at creatingan online space via our website, where people can sharetheir stories of using geolocational appswhilst traveling and also comment on other people'sas well, which raises as a whole host of other ethical issues,too.One of our key goals within our research

  • 04:12

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: is to carry out research in the digital sphere,rather than on the digital sphere.What I mean by that is actually doing researchinside the platforms that we're talking about and actuallyusing the web in a way where we canand engage with and encourage participants to co-produce

  • 04:33

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: knowledge to discuss some of the research that we're doingand some of the stories that people are contributing to,so they can see their stories about usingdifferent geolocational apps for travel experiences out thereand online in a more social way in the waysthat we use social media in everyday life.So we're quite keen to make our research more social

  • 04:54

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: and to do research in the digital world, which requiresus to really think about how we're going to do it,the methodologies and also then the relatedethical implications of moving into that open spaceand also using user-generated contentfrom different platforms in a big data

  • 05:15

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: way for various different analyses like content analysisand what are the ethical implications of that?So we've got a number of different methods going onwithin our study, all that have their different ethicalimplications associated with that.So it's very much about being brave and innovating

  • 05:37

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: in the methods space and in the ethics space as well.[WHAT ARE THE ETHICAL CHALLENGES OF USING TINDER IN YOURRESEARCH, AND HOW WILL YOU OVERCOME THEM?]One of the first ethical challengeswith using user-generated contentis that you often have a really large sample.So it's impossible, or at least impractical,

  • 05:58

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: to you ask for informed consent from everyone.So then you are often thinking about data as publiclyavailable.And one of the key challenges for usis whether apps like Tinder are a public or a private space,particularly when they're geolocated.So although it might seem like private because it's not

  • 06:20

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: Googleable, for example, it's embeddedwithin the physical world within the real world.And that sort of layer of technology on everyday life.And it might seem private online.But you know, somebody might see that,and they might be stood right next to you.So it's working out really what these different online social

  • 06:41

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: spaces mean in terms of privacy and publicand breaking down those boundaries.And then trying to manage that in an ethical waywithin the research is quite a challengewhen you're looking for guidance around how best to move forwardwith gaining ethical approval and then doingreally good research, too.

  • 07:03

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: Another related issue, which goes for sort of big dataapproaches, where you analyze user-generated content.And when you use more participatory methodsand encourage people to share their storieson a website in an open way and then comment on thoseis around anonymity and confidentiality

  • 07:25

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: and protecting, not just that participant's data,but the data of others that are connected to them as well.So we have to put in place some data management procedures thatwill enable us to anonymize the dataand to keep reflecting on that.One of the things that's important around thatis these different geolocational apps are changing.

  • 07:48

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: And they actually seem to be movinginto a more social space.So where dating might have been considered a more private,separate activity, it's actually becomingmuch more connected to the other mainstreamplatforms of Facebook and sharinga web page that links to your dating profile as well.

  • 08:10

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: So that's very much moving into the social sphere, too.So when we're thinking about anonymity and confidentiality,we have to bear in mind that someof the data that we get from the geolocational apps,which is currently not searchable,is now might become searchable in the future.We need to be able to handle potential future change

  • 08:31

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: and ensure that we can maintain participant'srights to anonymity and confidentiality.One of the key aspects that we'vehad to consider for gaining ethical approvalis how whether we're breaking that platform-- in this case,

  • 08:52

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: Tinder's terms of service.And in their terms of service, theysay that nobody should be using, takingthat data from that site in a manual or an automated way.So if we swipe through it or if wescrape the data, either way way, weare going against the terms and conditions.So one of the things to enable this research to be possible

  • 09:14

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: is to think about where we stand legally with our research.And so we've spoken to a range of different peoplewithin our university.And we are still in the ethics process,wherein the outcomes of our research application as towhether or not we are breaking those terms of service.

  • 09:36

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: And we're arguing our ethical stance is that because we'renot doing commercial research and we'renot wanting to take any aspects of the platform's designand repurpose that or replicate it for commercial benefit,and that we're going to maintain people's privacyand personal information, then we should

  • 09:57

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: be able to do the research.[WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PLANNING INNOVATIVE DIGITALRESEARCH?]One of the best ways that we've beenable to move forward with our researchand get to the stage of applying for ethicsis actually talking to people about the research

  • 10:18

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: that we wanted to do, so attendingthe social media and ethics conference, for example,and presenting about the research.And talking to the video right now about researchthat we're currently waiting on ethical approvalfor helps us to figure out the way forward by being more opennetworked participatory researchers inviting

  • 10:39

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: comment on our work and suggestions from other people,so working in that very networked wayis enabling us to move forward with doingthis kind of research, innovative research,within the digital world.I think it's important that what we do as researchers in the way

  • 10:59

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: that we carry out our research reflects what'sgoing on in the every day and ordinary livesof people who might be interested in our research.And there's no question that social media isn't going away.And many people are using it in various different ways.But there's opportunities there for research, challenges, too.

  • 11:21

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: But there's opportunities to engage with participantsand also to sort of rethink the relationshipbetween researchers and participantsas well when the web enables different forms of interactionand participation to take place.And our role within encouraging and supporting

  • 11:43

    JENNA CONDIE [continued]: people to have a say about research is important to me.

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Publication Year: 2017

Video Type:Video Case

Methods: Social media research, Content analysis, Participatory research, Research ethics

Keywords: dating; innovation; knowledge creation; place (geography); romance and relationships; Sex; Social activities; Social space; Software; technology; travel; web sites ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Dr. Jenna Condie describes the research project she is currently seeking ethics approval to conduct. She wants to explore how online dating apps, particularly Tinder, change sexual and romantic behavior. She discusses challenges like informed consent, participant engagement, and deciding whether her project violates Tinder's terms of use.

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Researching Tinder & Travel Experiences Using Content Analysis & Participatory Methods

Dr. Jenna Condie describes the research project she is currently seeking ethics approval to conduct. She wants to explore how online dating apps, particularly Tinder, change sexual and romantic behavior. She discusses challenges like informed consent, participant engagement, and deciding whether her project violates Tinder's terms of use.