Privacy and protection: Even though the messages are on the public
domain of the Internet users, this researcher is concerned about
the issue of maintaining confidentiality of the message writers.
The messages are posted with a screen name, that might include,
or not, a last name. To insure confidentiality posters’ names
are referred in this research as a letter, instead of their screen
name. Informed consent for the utilization of the messages on the
research was not obtained since the access and availability of the
World Wide Web implies that the posted communications in this web
site occur in a public mass medium.
This is in conformity to the Lynn University Institutional Research
Board. However, this researcher has to duel once more, with the
choice of telling the forum participants about the research or going
along as an unobtrusive observant of their forum activities. It
is opted to conduct the research without interfering with the communications.
Therefore, subjects do not know that a research is being conducted.
The researcher will make this disclaimer after all efforts for the
finalization of the research is concluded.