2016-08-08 #critlib chat: ethics of digitization

  1. Reading and questions:

  2. Q1 What are pros & cons of make digitization decisions informed by personal & community ethics, in addition to/instead of The Law?#critlib

  3. A1 - its important to think about who we want to be accountable to. are we accountable only to the state? not me. #critlib
  4. A1. Pros: community input, community connection, community belonging. Cons: It can be hard to know exactly who your community is. #critlib
  5. A1 (cont) By which I mean you don't know what you don't know when it comes to stakeholders in any given set of materials. #critlib
  6. @marccold or more than one community involved! can think of some examples of Indigenous content. #critlib
  7. A1 - con: takes a lot more time, therefore likely more money and as @marccold said hard to know who is the community #critlib
  8. @tararobertson And if one community wants the material digitized and the other doesn't... #critlib
  9. A1: This, and also, members of a community don't necessarily agree on the choices to be made. #critlib  https://twitter.com/marccold/status/762712066796945408 
  10. @paigecmorgan and we often don't reflect the communities we serve, or are situated in (read: white) #critlib
  11. A1 Pro: Much more content available to the public sooner. Cons: Running afoul of copyright law, risk violating individual privacy. #critlib
  12. A1: a pro of considering community concerns is not pissing off the ppl you're trying to help document. Trust & ooperation are good. #critlib
  13. #critlib A1. Pros: humane, thoughtful, right thing to do. Cons: takes a lot of work. Your ethics may not equal community's ethics.
  14. Does using your own ethics become a concern in the context of anti-choice pharmacists using theirs? #critlib  https://twitter.com/captain_maybe/status/762712422201384960 
  15. A1: community consultation expands/enriches contextual info (which may be very sparse) + provides POVs may be missing in archives. #critlib
  16. So I guess pros: more in line with community, thoughtful, ethical action. Cons: legal trouble, job trouble, annoyed managers #critlib (A1)
  17. tends to lean towards injustice for many populations, our obligation to community conflicts. Can you risk it? (2/2) #critlib
  18. Are we only talking about taking input from marginalized communities? What if dominant community doesn’t like sth bc ethics? #critlib
  19. Like for example, what if relic community doesn’t like LGBTQ+ archive we want to digitize/publish? #critlib
  20. Or what if community doesn’t like archive documenting racism in the community? #critlib
  21. Right. Sometimes commt'y shld prevail. But sometimes not. Like when commt'y enacting erasure. #critlib  https://twitter.com/jvinopal/status/762713614323154948 
  22. A1 - pro: an overall re-framing of the notion of 'intellectual property' to value the personal over the commercial #critlib
  23. listening, for starts. having a conversation with ppl, encouraging convos btwn groups, and respecting their decisions. #critlib
  24. being willing to put down a project you were really excited about because other parties involved have concerns. #critlib
  25. A1. con: sometimes aligning with a particular set of community values puts you at odds with the values of another community #critlib
  26. A1. Cons: sometimes self-identified "community leaders" do not accurately reflect community as it was/is. #critlib
  27. A1 What is ethical is not always legal and vice versa. We must remember that all the time. #critlib
  28. A1: respecting community interests is vital, but complex when there's no one monolithic "community" affected #critlib
  29. A1: cons - I sometimes imagine community input devolving into a Parks and Rec time capsule situation of arguing and inaction. #critlib
  30. A1 - pro: our profession should consider the 'why' of digitization along with and above the 'how' #critlib
  31. Q2 When making digitization decisions, how do we balance the needs of (living) subjects & (future) scholars, now vs. 100s from now? #critlib

  32. Q2: strict legal rules for PII make some decisions look easier, but leave out a lot of borderline cases #critlib
  33. A2. Pers bias would be to favour the living, esp since digitization (as of rn) is more a access measure than a preservation measure #critlib
  34. Q2: can't assume that ppl are living or dead based on embargo periods (might work most of the time, but not all of the time) #critlib
  35. A2: at #qcarchives we gave living donors space for annotation when digitized items were published #critlib
  36. A2 I like to think in terms of opening up materials after as certain pd, with consultation w/commt'y as to what that shld be. #critlib
  37. A2. Let the future people fend for themselves. They'll likely have better technology/discovery tools than we can currently imagine. #critlib
  38. @violetbfox we are so SO bad at predicting what will be valuable to future people, in any case. #critlib
  39. A2 Ask permission as a sign of respect & to save yourself future grief. Ask copyright holders &/or creators about using their work. #critlib
  40. Yes! It takes time but it's like "measure 2X, cut 1X." It saves time in the long run. + IT'S GOOD MANNERS. #critlib  https://twitter.com/GinaMurrell1/status/762714635682193408 
  41. Records of minors, whose parents consented to record creation, but who may still be affected 75+ yrs later #critlib  https://twitter.com/tararobertson/status/762714283524239360 
  42. A2: also, boring/fraught as it is, revisiting deeds of gift to start a digitization discussion with donor #critlib
  43. hi #critlib! jess @hlslib jumping in. A2 - we address this in donor agreement; what can be digitized when w/hopes that eventually it's all.
  44. A2: We can know the needs of our current community - how can we possibly make informed decisions about future community needs? #critlib
  45. We actually had this happen locally with the coverage of the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict #critlib  https://twitter.com/jvinopal/status/762714105212002304 
  46. A2 - I know its outside scope but curious how this question tracks to collection and access provision for social media data #critlib
  47. A2 - this seems like a question about access (present) vs. preservation (future) -- not necessarily a conflict if done ethically #critlib
  48. A2: I try to think about digitization projects as cultivation of scholarship. We're active participants in dev. scholars(hip) so... #critlib
  49. Q2: Canadian census is also excellent case study of rights subjects and rights of future affected ppl 1/2 #critlib
  50. Q2 .. considering interests of future ppl in learning about their ancestors: who may exempt themselves for privacy 2/2 #critlib
  51. A2 w/ another q: How do we balance respect for the living w/ possible erasure of diverse voices? Would hate to lose representation #critlib
  52. @bookuporshutup I wonder about this question every time the "right to be forgotten" comes up. #critlib
  53. @bookuporshutup Esp when you also need to balance respect for the dead (as in the Moko article) #critlib
  54. ...we need 2B self-aware participants in that continuum. This means documenting our decisions, acknowledging gaps, disclosing bias. #critlib
  55. A2; Wondering if there's a shared dig record from all zine archives. Not showing content but ensuring copies exist somewhere #critlib
  56. @skalibrarian I'dd be opposed to this except as an opt-in by informed zine creator(s). #critlib
  57. A2 agree we can understand today's ethos better than we can predict tmrw's, isn't predicting pt of spec coll/archivists job desc.? #critlib
  58. We had this issue too, with developing an exhibit of a 75th anniversary. Everyone just wants to look good #critlib  https://twitter.com/schomj/status/762715001551323137 
  59. A2: Not just an issue of collection, but dissemination—i.e. I think this question becomes even more profound w/discoverability #critlib
  60. A2: poss issue: Many zines were cutnpaste w/o using permissions then. Is content under someone elses ownership as well as zinester? #critlib
  61. @skalibrarian Interesting question: might we do unintentional harm by widening zine readership? Under radar until digitized? (A2) #critlib
  62. @skalibrarian Personally I tend to consider reused zine content as recontextualized, so no. There are exceptions but not that many. #critlib
  63. @zinelib @skalibrarian Perhaps 'recontextualization' is a good thing to think about in relation to ALL archival materials. #critlib
  64. Q3 What are some #critlib models of providing community/research access to a collection, vs. protecting privacy?

  65. Q3 seems like a toughie. If you don't have a response, you can also talk about why there's no easy answer. #critlib
  66. A3: I'm a fan of researcher agreements that allow access but limit what can be published/shared. No backfires yet. #critlib
  67. A3. This is where I'm struggling with longstanding institutional practices of using researcher agreements to cover our posterior... #critlib
  68. A3 This is a good and tough Q. Researcher contracts only go so far. How do you enforce? How do you remedy bad actions? #critlib
  69. A3: researcher agreements are useful but shift towards community archives means we need to engage more with donors/community...#critlib
  70. A3. I don't know the answer to this, but I do hold off on ID-ing people in photos we digitize unless I am well and truly sure. #critlib
  71. A3. (cont) We have held off digitizing oral hists if we can't contact people involved- moving towards digitizing w/out publishing #critlib
  72. #critlib A3. thinking abt this a lot WRT a model for post-custodial comm. archs. possibility/ethics of restricting access based on community
  73. A3: No easy answer here. But think participatory models are where it's at...eg: @InterferenceArc #critlib
  74. I don't have an answer for Q3 - but I am loving seeing all of these fantastic projects others know of! #critlib
  75. A3 We should look toward #LGBTQ historical societies/archives as #critlib models of providing access to a collection vs. protecting privacy.
  76. #critlib A3: thinking about interactions LGBTQ folk have w. materials they use to research identity further problematizes this issue for me.
  77. @GinaMurrell1 Yes! Also increasingly post-custodial approach - archivists don't collect, records kept by their creators #critlib
  78. hey #critlib, tons of communities have figured out how to do these things for themselves. BME for body-mod communities, AO3 for fanfic, etc.
  79. communities living in legal grey areas, with lots of social taboos. it's *crazy* how we can just ask them how they're handling it. #critlib
  80. @allanaaaaaaa can you link to something online that explains these models in more detail? #critlib
  81. @allanaaaaaaa and like, *let* them handle it, without stepping in with our own plans. (supporting, working alongside IF ASKED TO) #critlib
  82. @allanaaaaaaa ppl/groups make plans, rules & guidelines for themselves, even w/o a lib/archivist. a kind of cultural survivalism. #critlib
  83. A3: also think its imp. to remember that archives aren't neutral or ahistorical. #otherness #critlib
  84. @jwilsonmoore and how can we make archiving also about exposing power dynamics in and outside of the archive? #critlib
  85. A3: the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives provides (really weird) metadata access to content, but not the content itself. yay? #critlib
  86. A3 - 2/2 or develop a standard similar to CC for giving or withholding digitization rights? #critlib
  87. A3: I might also suggest museums as a potential model. The District Six Museum in S. Africa does great work  http://www.districtsix.co.za/  #critlib
  88. @tararobertson @ASUChicano new collection on undocumented queers in Arizona - archivist could answer questions on restrictions. #critlib
  89. @tararobertson increased restrictions on documenting police/brutality - opportunities for advocacy legislatively/legally. #critlib
  90. Q4 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. vs. those of default identities?

  91. A4: Considerations of individual safety should be considered in all digitization. Difference is default have less to fear. #critlib
  92. A4 would love to see institutions consider diversity as a criteria for digi projects, not sure what that would look like IRL #critlib
  93. @tararobertson as curator of dig colls I def do this - still it's tough to balance "institutional" priorities w/wider cultural ones #critlib
  94. What I'm saying:set the bar high - with those who have most to worry about - and others will be covered #critlib (Give me more room twitter)
  95. A4 Take special care with these communities. Honor concerns about safety/privacy. Seek permission to avoid exploitation. #critlib
  96. @tararobertson These networks are often informal. Nurture indiv/community relationships. Build trust. Reassure. Reassure. Reassure. #critlib
  97. A4: Still struggling with this. We've done a lot of tokenism in the past (good intentions/problematic results). Trying 2 do better. #critlib
  98. [1/2] #critlib dunno which question this addresses but as someone who works in a way unfunded archives, the struggle is often ...
  99. [2/]2] that ppl WANT their materials digitized and we don't have capacity to do so #critlib
  100. ... and our collection documents and was created by ppl from many marginalized communities who feel under-represented #critlib
  101. A4 #critlib evaluation & attn to inclusive language in metadata, subjects, topics used for description and access  https://twitter.com/zinelib/status/762719503797157888 
  102. A4: consider whether digitiz will disproportionately impact some groups, even if those groups are not subject of collection. #critlib
  103. A4: Another potential museum parallel: UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. Lots of co-curation + management of sensitive materials #critlib
  104. archives should provide online harassment + fair-use training to creators from under-represented communities before signing. #critlib
  105. "so, this is our first QPOC community digitization project, therefore you should expect the following .... " #critlib
  106. "similar creators in other places have experienced .... " #critlib
  107. _kinda_ a3+a4: pondering what participatory + user-ok-driven entities/data infrastructure (w/requested data propagation) looks like #critlib
  108. Q5 How should #critlib digitization decisions differ with regard to porn vs. other content like newspapers, books, or historical photos?

  109. A5: Who gets to decides what's "pornography" in a collection? #critlib
  110. @skalibrarian Exactly what I was wondering. The "you know it when you see it" definition used in law is concerning. #critlib
  111. A5: I come from the era of AIDS activist - Queer nation zines. Lotta stuff in those might be considered porn (altho I wd disacgree) #critlib
  112. A5 - digitizing porn is completely different than digitizing old newspapers IMO. #critlib
  113. A5 - if digitized, delivery should be mediated by archivist. it's only 1 hoop for a researcher to have to email & vet a request. #critlib
  114. A5. Porn vs. paper: I think you have to think about it in terms of audience/consent/intimacy. Format/genre play a role, yes... #critlib
  115. @tararobertson @jordanclaire curious: d'you think the age of this material matters? eg is porn from 1850 dif than OOB? #critlib
  116. A5 Another good/tough Q. I think for all the A is the same: It depends. Talk to commt'y. Work w/them to decide. Rinse, repeat. #critlib
  117. The image/av/sound will always risk a more visceral reaction + carry risk, especially in decontextualized online environments. #critlib
  118. A5 Many who've worked in porn dissociate from it later in life. Again, ask permission. If they say, no, respect their decision. #critlib
  119. That said, I've decided against digitizing letters due to their profoundly intimate nature. Would be a betrayal to put up + open. #critlib
  120. A5: anyone want to weigh in specifically about @RevealDigital's off our backs digital archive, per Tara's (IMO awesome) blog post? #critlib
  121. @zinelib @RevealDigital Important as a cultural time piece, but if release forms weren't written w/digital in mind, I'd err on no #critlib
  122. Who all participated in this #critlib chat?

  123. This is Jenna, a zine librarian in NYC co-moderating this #critlib chat bc I have strong feels about zine creators' #intellectuaproperty.
  124. Hi #critlib, Chelsea here, instruction librarian in transition from CO to CA- staffing chat as well so will likely be in and out
  125. Tara, work in accessibility, but thinking a lot about what we digitize and what we shouldn't. In Vancouver, Canada. #critlib
  126. @zinelib @tararobertson so glad you are hosting this! Lisa, infolit coord+LIS affiliate fac (UIUC). #critlib
  127. Hi, #critlib! Archivist in Boston-ish. Long time lurker who will probably continue lurking today, but very interested in this conversation!
  128. Hi #critlib, I'm Mel, a cataloger and LIS student in DFW Texas. Mostly lurking today to learn about this important topic.
  129. Hi #critlib Akiema here, solo transportation librarian at Iowa DOT
  130. Hi #critlib, I'm an academic cataloger in central Minnesota. You can find chat questions and suggested readings at  http://critlib.org/ethics-of-digitization/ 
  131. Hi #critlib , Michigan cataloger on her errand day. (Actually, always a Michigan cataloger.)
  132. Hi #critlib, I'm Sarah, an LIS PhD student (in like 2 weeks) at Pitt
  133. I'm Gina - job seeker & past project coordinator (contract) of Oregon Digital Newspaper Program. All about ethics of digitization. #critlib
  134. Hi, April, academic librn in NY. Think a bit about digitization and ethics. Excited for this chat! #critlib
  135. Hello #critlib, LIS student in Denver, excited to talk about @tararobertson's awesome article that I'm constantly sharing.
  136. hi #critlib i'm christina, i work with metadata in some way, probably just watching this convo (thanks for having it)
  137. Really looking forward to today's #critlib! I'm Paige, a DH Librarian at the University of Miami.
  138. #critlib chat time! Hi folks, Matthew here. Library fellow working on graphic medicine on several fronts at UMass Med.
  139. Hi #critlib - I'm an arts/humanities librarian in Flagstaff. Excited to mostly listen & learn today, as I haven't had much digitization exp.
  140. Jason - instruction and reference librarian - Dallas, TX #critlib
  141. Hi everyone, Anna here. I work on digitization and outreach projects in an academic archives. #critlib
  142. #critlib! This is Andy Uhrich from @iulmia which is the Indiana U Libraries Moving Image Archive.
  143. Hi #critlib, MLIS student and law librarian hopeful. Here to listen.
  144. jumping in late to #critlib digitizations & ethics talk as UX designer/activist archivist
  145. Joining #critlib as an academic archivist on the cusp of several big digitization projects.
  146. hi #critlib! Ethan a sorta cataloger in south florida... lurking today, but always an avid reader-after-the-fact
  147. Hi #critlib, I'm Nora, an academic lib from NYC. Late & lurking (working).
  148. Hi, #critlib—Bethany from @CLIRDLF. Can’t participate now, but eager to read. Taught both @tararobertson & @zinelib’s work on this recently!
  149. #critlib Lurking here for the purpose of applying some of this in archives, recent work on right to be forgotten. Arizona-based.
  150. Hi #critlib! Librarian and MHP grad student in Atlanta here to lurk and learn.
  151. (Also, hi, #critlib! I’m a digital librarian in GA, soon to be in Boston.)
  152. hiya #critlib - MLIS student, arts library ref. desk assistant and perpetual #critlib lurker. Joining late and reading fast.