What Would You Do? Design Fiction and Ethics

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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).

Abstract

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.

Regrets, I’ve Had A Few: When Regretful Experiences Do (and Don’t) Compel Users to Leave Facebook

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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).

Abstract

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.

Effects of Comment Curation with Opposition on Coherence in Online Policy Discussion

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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).

Abstract

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.

When Subjects Interpret the Data: Social Media Non-use as a Case for Adapting the Delphi Method to CSCW

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Baumer, E.P.S., Xu, X., Chu, C., Guha, S., and Gay, G.K. (2017). When Subjects Interpret the Data: Social Media Non-use as a Case for Adapting the Delphi Method to CSCW. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW). (Portland, OR).

Abstract

This paper describes the use of the Delphi method as a means of incorporating study participants into the processes of data analysis and interpretation. As a case study, it focuses on perceptions about use and non-use of the social media site Facebook. The work presented here involves three phases. First, a large survey included both a demographically representative sample and a convenience sample. Second, a smaller follow-up survey presented results from that survey back to survey respondents. Third, a series of qualitative member checking interviews with additional survey respondents served to validate the findings of the follow-up survey. This paper demonstrates the utility of Delphi by highlighting the ways that it enables us to synthesize across these three study phases, advancing understanding of perceptions about social media use and non-use. The paper concludes by discussing the broader applicability of the Delphi method across CSCW research.

Imagined Facebook: An exploratory study of non-users’ perceptions of social media in Rural Zambia

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Wyche, S.P. and Baumer, E.P.S. (2016). Imagined Facebook: An Exploratory Study of Non-Users’ Perceptions of Social Media in Rural Zambia. New Media & Society.

Abstract

This article describes an exploratory study of Facebook non-users living in rural Zambia. Drawing on evidence from 37 group interviews with mobile phone owners, we discovered that the majority of our participants were aware of, or ‘imagined’ Facebook, despite never having seen or used the site. Our analysis of how participants perceive Facebook suggests that they are interested in the communication and income-generating possibilities access to the site may provide, but that barriers prevent them from acting on these interests. This study contributes to social media research by making visible the experiences of a population whose non-use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) results from economic, infrastructural, and linguistic sources, as well as from other, hitherto less-explored areas. We discuss the practical significance of these findings, offer future research suggestions, and comment on what our respondents have not yet imagined about Facebook.

DOI

Machine Learning and Grounded Theory Method: Convergence, Divergence, and Combination

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Muller, M., Guha, S., Baumer, E.P.S., Mimno, D., and Shami, N.S. (2016). Machine Learning and Grounded Theory Method: Convergence, Divergence, and Combination. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). (Sanibel Island, FL).

Abstract

Grounded Theory Method (GTM) and Machine Learning (ML) are often considered to be quite different. In this note, we explore unexpected convergences between these methods. We propose new research directions that can further clarify the relationships between these methods, and that can use those relationships to strengthen our ability to describe our phenomena and develop stronger hybrid theories.

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Building Mood, Building Community: Usage Patterns of an Interactive Art Installation

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Scolere, L., Baumer, E.P.S., Reynolds, L., and Gay, G. (2016). Building Mood, Building Community: Usage Patterns of an Interactive Art Installation. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP). (Sanibel Island, FL).

Abstract

To examine the processes by which appropriation happens around an interactive art installation in an organizational context, this paper presents a qualitative, longitudinal study of an interactive art installation called mood.cloud. While designed to collect and to visually display building occupants’ collective emotion, the installation was not necessarily used or interpreted in this way. Instead, building occupants saw the sensory experience of mood.cloud and the ability to change the display as a way to influence their own feelings, the feelings of others, and the overall workplace ambience. We found that interaction with mood.cloud fostered reflection about the relationship between the individual and the larger collective that the person is a part of. This relationship, between appropriation for individual benefit and appropriation for the benefit of others, afforded participants the opportunity to become more aware of their own contribution as part of a larger community. These findings suggest an opportunity to design systems around the interplay between appropriation for the individual and appropriation for the community.

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How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections

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Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Abstract

This article examines social media reversion, when a user intentionally ceases using a social media site but then later resumes use of the site. We analyze a convenience sample of survey data from people who volunteered to stay off Facebook for 99 days but, in some cases, returned before that time. We conduct three separate analyses to triangulate on the phenomenon of reversion: simple quantitative predictors of reversion, factor analysis of adjectives used by respondents to describe their experiences of not using Facebook, and statistical topic analysis of free-text responses. Significant factors predicting either increased or decreased likelihood of reversion include, among others, prior use of Facebook, experiences associated with perceived addiction, issues of social boundary negotiation such as privacy and surveillance, use of other social media, and friends’ reactions to non-use. These findings contribute to the growing literature on technology non-use by demonstrating how social media users negotiate, both with each other and with themselves, among types and degrees of use and non-use.

Open Access

Why study technology non-use?

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Baumer, E. P. S., Ames, M. G., Burrell, J., Brubaker, J. R., & Dourish, P. (2015). Why Study Technology Non-use? First Monday, 20(11).

Abstract

This special issue provides an opportunity to rethink how we approach, study, and conceptualize human relationships with, and through, technology. The authors in this collection take a multiplicity of approaches on diverse topics to develop a rigorous theoretical understanding for non-use, setting crucial groundwork for future research.

DOI

Double Binds and Double Blinds: Evaluation Tactics in Critically Oriented HCI

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Khovanskaya, V., Baumer, E.P.S., and Sengers, P. (2015). Double Binds and Double Blinds: Evaluation Tactics in Critically Oriented HCI. in Proceedings of the Fifth Decennial Aarhus Conference on Critical Computing. Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract

Critically oriented researchers within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have fruitfully intersected design and critical analysis to engage users and designers in reflection on underlying values, assumptions and dominant practices in technology. To successfully integrate this work within the HCI community, critically oriented researchers have tactically engaged with dominant practices within HCI in the design and evaluation of their work. This paper draws attention to the ways that tactical engagement with aspects of HCI evaluation methodology shapes and bears consequences for critically oriented research. We reflect on three of our own experiences evaluating critically oriented designs and trace challenges that we faced to the ways that sensibilities about generalizable knowledge are manifested in HCI evaluation methodology. Drawing from our own experiences, as well as other influential critically oriented design projects in HCI, we articulate some of the trade-offs involved in consciously adopting or not adopting certain normative aspects of HCI evaluation. We argue that some forms of this engagement can hamstring researchers from pursuing their intended research goals and have consequences beyond specific research projects to affect the normative discourse in the field as a whole.

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