YouTube videos as language data?

February 13, 2013

Hi everyone. I’m posting on behalf of Lise Dobrin, based on an interesting query from Marianne Mithun regarding the status of language data from the internet. I wonder if anyone has encountered any institutional policies regarding the use of YouTube videos as language data, in cases where the video is freely available with no restrictions. My understanding is that this would not count as human subjects research under the usual IRB guidelines, since there are no interactions or interventions with the people depicted in the video, and since the material is freely available to the public. It might, however, fall under human subjects regulations if the people depicted in the video do not know that the video is up there. Also, regardless of regulations, we were wondering how to determine whether use of such a video for research poses any additional risks to the people depicted in the video. Thanks for your thoughts! Elaine