The Construction and Maintenance of Online ‘Brony’ (My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic Fan) Communities
Indiana University IRB Study #1310483908
You are invited to participate in a research study of the online activities of people who self-identify as “bronies” or are otherwise associated with the My Little Pony fandom. We ask that you read this form and ask any questions you may have before posting to this site.
The study is being conducted by Kurt Baer and Jason R. Nguyen at Indiana University, Bloomington through the Department of Communication and Culture.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the ways in which bronies create a sense of community in digital space, using the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in ways largely unintended by the program’s creators as the raw materials for a distinct group identity. We wish to further analyze the ways in which this identity is situated in relation to the My Little Pony and other fandoms.
Procedures for the Study
By posting, you agree to be a part of this study and acknowledge that you are at least 18 years old. Any posts you make will be covered by a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, meaning that people are free to share and remix parts of the blog as long as they attribute the source.
The researchers will make regular posts to which study participants are encouraged to respond. Participants who are particularly active may be invited to author full blog posts as well.
Participation is entirely voluntary and you are welcome to post as much or as little as you would like. Leaving the study will not result in any penalty or loss of benefits to which you are entitled.
If you have observations that you would prefer to not be in the public domain, you are welcome to email the researchers at [email protected] and [email protected]. You can also use this address for requests to remove your posts from the blog.
Contact with participants will be entirely electronic and only an email address will be required to post. We will not be publishing these email addresses in any way, though your personal information may be disclosed if required by law.
Blog usernames will be the main form of identification in the research study. Therefore, participants wishing to maintain their privacy may want to keep this in mind while selecting user names.
The blog as a whole is covered under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, as indicated above. Therefore, all public posts are public domain.
Organizations that may inspect and/or copy your research records for data analysis include groups such as the study investigator and his/her research associates, the Indiana University Institutional Review Board or its designees, and (as allowed by law) state or federal agencies, specifically the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).
You will not receive payment for taking part in this study.
Contacts for Questions or Problems
For questions about your rights as a research participant or to discuss problems, complaints or concerns about a research study, or to obtain information, or offer input, contact the IU Human Subjects Office at (812) 856-4242 or (800) 696-2949.