Along with all the other difficulties which come with researching a subject such as hacktivism (by which I mean a subject with heavily loaded interests and extremely digitally capable people on both sides of the arguement) is one which I had not quite anticipated.
Of course, managing an online persona is all about performance - what I choose to tweet, retweet and favourite builds a perception of me to all those who choose to view it. But when researching hacktivism I've got to be truly careful about how I build my online presence: as much as I might want to support or decry actions by certain individuals or organisations, for the most part I've got to hold off clicking that button in order to maintain a neutral stance in the argument. As a prolific tweeter, this is difficult for me - I'm not known for holding my tongue.
In times such as these I believe that maintaining a credible research stance is becoming all the more difficult. If I can't be seen to uphold the objective stance, then I can't see how any participants (hacktivist or otherwise) should choose to trust in me.