I recently had three submissions accepted to the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). The first was a paper to which I contributed about online policy discussion, specifically in the context of MTurk. Among other things, this paper offers some nice empirical evidence about the importance of considering opinions with finer grained distinctions than agree vs. disagree. Second is a paper analyzing how different types of regretful experiences on Facebook can lead to different types of non-use. The main take away is that it matters less who feels the regret than who takes the action that ends up being regretted. Third is a curated collection of short design fiction pieces written by students in the class I taught this past spring. It demonstrates the efficacy of design fiction for thinking through ethical issues in computing.
Baumer, E.P.S., Berrill, T., Botwinick, S.C., Gonzales, J.L., Ho, K., Kundrik, A., Kwon, L., LaRowe, T., Nguyen, C.P., Ramirez, F., Schaedler, P., Ulrich, W., Wallace, A., Wan, Y., and Weinfeld, B. (2017). What Would You Do? Design Fiction and Ethics. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP), Design Fiction Track. (Sanibel Island, FL).
Design fiction can be highly effective at envisioning possible futures. That envisioning enables, among other things, considering ethical implications of possible technologies. This paper highlights that capacity through a cu- rated collection of five short design fiction pieces, each accompanied by its own author statement. Spanning multiple genres, each piece highlights ethical issues in its own way. After considering the unique strategies that each piece uses to highlight ethical issues, the paper concludes with considerations of how design fiction can advance broader discussions of ethics in computing.
Guha, S., Baumer, E.P.S., and Gay, G. (2017). Regrets, I’ve Had A Few: When Regretful Experiences Do (and Don’t) Compel Users to Leave Facebook. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). (Sanibel Island, FL).
Previous work has explored regretful experiences on social media. In parallel, scholars have examined how people do not use social media. This paper aims to synthesize these two research areas and asks: Do regretful experiences on social media influence people to (consider) not using social media? How might this influence differ for different sorts of regretful experiences? We adopted a mixed methods approach, combining topic modeling, logistic regressions, and contingency analysis to analyze data from a web survey with a demographically representative sample of US internet users (n=515) focusing on their Facebook use. We found that experiences that arise because of users’ own actions influence actual deactivation of their Facebook account, while experiences that arise because of others’ actions lead to considerations of non-use. We discuss the implications of these findings for two theoretical areas of interest in HCI: individual agency in social media use and the networked dimensions of privacy.
McInnis, B.J., Cosley, D., Baumer, E.P.S., Leshed, G. (2017). Effects of Comment Curation with Opposition on Coherence in Online Policy Discussion. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). (Sanibel Island, FL).
Public concern related to a policy may span a range of topics. As a result, policy discussions struggle to deeply examine any one topic before moving to the next. In policy deliberation re- search, this is referred to as a problem of topical coherence. In an experiment, we curated the comments in a policy discussion to prioritize arguments for or against a policy proposal, and examined how this curation and participants’ initial positions of support or opposition to the policy affected the coherence of their contributions to existing topics. We found an asymmetric interaction between participants’ initial positions and comment curation: participants with different initial positions had unequal reactions to curation that foregrounded comments with which they disagreed. This asymmetry implies that the factors underlying coherence are more nuanced than prioritizing participants’ agreement or disagreement. We discuss how this finding relates to curating for coherent disagreement, and for curation more generally in deliberative processes.