Researchers endeavoring to conduct an on-line study should consider that there are some potential risks of harm to subjects unique to Internet-based research. One of these risks is:

  • People assume pseudonymous on-line identities, such as an avatar in an MMORPG.
  • Online studies do not require the documentation of informed consent.
  • Recruiting, consenting and debriefing subjects takes place on-line, and may require little to no interaction with the subjects.
  • Individuals may post private identifiable information about themselves on-line without intending it to be public and available to researchers.

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