Consent Info

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INFORMED CONSENT

You can choose to be a part of the study by acting on social media or by texting a tree. This lets us count you as a participant on social media and use your text messages for the study. By texting a tree, you also give us permission to send you two questions at the end of the project, asking why you participated. Under 16? Ask a guardian if you can be a part of this study. An adult will text you, and your phone number will be saved as part of the research. We will save all of the messages and may post our favourite ones on social media or quote them in our research paper. We will make sure your name is never attached to anything. In fact, when you text a tree, we will not know your name at all! All we will know is your phone number. At the end of the study, your phone number will be deleted so we will not know which message came from which number. We will not share these with anyone outside of the study. You will never get phone calls or people trying to sell you stuff. This study is being conducted in accordance to the Dalhousie Research Ethics Board.

OPT OUT

If you text a tree but later decide you do not want to be part of the study, just tell us! Text “opt-out” to any tree, or email “opt-out” and your phone number to Julietta at jl883690@dal.ca (don’t worry, the email will be deleted). Everything you sent us, including your phone number, will be erased. You will only be able to opt-out over text-message until August 31, 2019, but you have until September 7, 2019 to opt-out by emailing Julietta. Also, if you want to opt-out entirely, be sure to remove any Text-A-Tree-related activity on Instagram and/or Facebook by September 7, 2019.

PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITIES

- If you are under 16, get permission to participate from a guardian

- Opt-out before September 7, 2019 if you choose not to be in the study

- Show respect to volunteers when texting

- Report any concerns to Julietta at jl883690@dal.ca

- Report ethical issues to the Dalhousie Research Ethics office at ethics@dal.ca or 902-494-3423

*Note* We will do everything possible to protect your information. In the event that a phone number or message is stolen (or any harm is caused by the research), you always retain your right to legal action, even after giving consent.

MESSAGES

All phone numbers and messages will be stored and managed using the American software service Zendesk. We use the Zendesk Talk product. At the end of the study, Julietta will download all of the messages and phone numbers. The Zendesk account will then be deactivated, and all data will be deleted from the online platform. The downloaded information will be encrypted and kept on a password-protected computer. The messages will be sorted, and all phone numbers will be deleted. Then, Julietta will analyze the anonymous messages to answer her research questions.

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The only information we will analyze from Instagram and Facebook are the timing and numbers of likes, followers, comments, and pictures we receive on @TextATreeHalifax and #TextATreeHalifax. Though we may save our favourite comments, we will not be recording who wrote them.

ZENDESK

For information on Zendesk Talk and their company policies, see: Zendesk Talk, Privacy Policy, and Data Deletion Policy

WHEN YOU TEXT

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If you choose to text a tree, your message is sent to an online platform called Zendesk. Your text is turned into a message that can only be viewed using the platform (similar to an email), and the volunteer speaking for that tree gets a notification. While you are waiting for a reply, you will get an automated message letting you know you texted the correct number. The volunteer will log onto Zendesk using their password and type a message back. You will get this as a text. The volunteer will only be able to see the messages and phone numbers sent to their tree. They are not able to download any of your information, and are not allowed to keep/record anything they see. Julietta will have control over the account, to make sure your information stays safe. She will also check to make sure everyone is being respectful.

Your conversations with the trees will help us understand what makes trees important to people. Your answers to the two survey questions will help us understand why the project worked (or didn’t work).

PUBLICATIONS

After Sept 4, 2019, Julietta will be writing a paper about the study. If this gets published, we will post the study on this website so you can see it. We will also be posting an anonymous “Wish of the Day” and may anonymously post some of our favourite text responses on Facebook and Instagram. We may even make a little book! You can stay up-to-date about our publications through this site. We want you to know what you helped us learn! Your information will always be protected, and nothing will be posted that could identify you.