Jeremy Snyder: Campaign organizer and recipient perspectives on the ethics of privacy in charitable crowdfunding - $99,942
Charitable crowdfunding is the practice of using online platforms to solicit financial support for personal needs through social networks. This practice has grown rapidly in recent years in terms of public visibility, the number of people participating as donors and campaigners, and the amount of money
raised. Through these campaigns and the funds they generate, campaigners have been able to help themselves and others afford to pay for critically important expenses such as rent during times of financial hardship, care for loved ones who are ill or undergoing treatment, recovery from natural disasters, and, most recently, cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But while its benefits should not be ignored, scholars have increasingly raised ethical concerns with charitable crowdfunding,
including over the privacy forsaken to achieve campaign goals. To raise funds, crowdfunding campaigners face significant pressure to publicly share intimate details of their finances, bodily vulnerabilities and needs, and family lives.
Existing scholarly work on the privacy impacts of charitable crowdfunding have generally been speculative or focused on a specific subset of crowdfunding in health-related campaigns such as sex reassignment surgery. In this project, the goal is to deepen the scholarly and public understanding of the ethical dimensions of charitable crowdfunding as they impact privacy. Investigators will achieve this goal by conducting interviews both with people who lead crowdfunding campaigns for themselves and those who conduct these campaigns on behalf of others.
Moreover, both housing- and health-related crowdfunding campaigns will be included in the study, broadening the dominant focus of scholarship on charitable crowdfunding beyond health-related issues. This research will allow new insights into the dilemmas and differences in privacy considerations in the context of charitable crowdfunding for needs like housing- and health-related expenses. This research will also distinguish approaches and practices for maintaining privacy between people who manage charitable crowdfunding campaigns for themselves from those that crowdfund for others. Lastly this work will illuminate how processes for obtaining consent to disclose personal, financial, medical, and family information are impacted by the pressures to raise funds online.
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