Twitter Bot Study – Informed Consent Message

Invitation Message / Informed Consent Document

Greetings –

My name is Randall Livingstone, and I am an assistant professor in the School of Communication at Endicott College. I am posting to invite you to participate in a study about “anon” Twitter bots (@parliamentedits, @congressedits, etc.) and their programmers. Participation involves a 30-45 minute interview via a channel of your choice (i.e. IRC, Gchat, Skype, email, phone, in-person) to be scheduled at your convenience, as well as a possible follow-up interview.

Your interview responses will help online communication and Internet researchers like me to better understand the collaborations, challenges, and purposeful work of bot programmers and their creations. Questions will address both the technical aspects of your work and the social/cultural aspects, including your thoughts, opinions, and experiences about these types of Twitter bots.

The interview is voluntary, and your confidentiality will be protected. You will have the choice of using your real name, an online username you work from, or creating a unique pseudonym during the research. Your name will not appear on any documents or in published work if you wish to keep it confidential. If you choose to keep your name confidential, I will be the only one with access to materials including your name. Interview data may later be used for academic presentation or publication purposes, and your confidentiality and preference for attribution will be maintained in those instances as well.

There is very little, if any, foreseeable risks to you by participating in this study. You may choose to not answer any question or questions, and you may withdraw at any time. By agreeing to be interviewed, you are providing informed consent to participate in the research and for the interview to be recorded via audio or video (when applicable). You may also obtain a copy of this consent form at any time.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact me via email at If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant, please contact the Institutional Review Board Committee Chair at

Thank you very much.


Randall Livingstone

School of Communication

Endicott College