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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baumer, E.P.S. (2015). Reflective Informatics: Conceptual Dimensions for Designing Technologies of Reflection. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (pp. 585–594). Seoul, South Korea.
Despite demonstrated interest in designing for reflection, relatively little work provides a detailed explication of what exactly is meant by reflection or how to design around it. This paper fills that gap by reviewing and engaging with conceptual and theoretical models of reflection, organized by the disciplinary and epistemological perspectives each embodies. Synthesizing across this theoretical background, the paper identifies three dimensions of reflection: breakdown, inquiry, and transformation. Together, these dimensions serve as the foundation for reflective informatics, a conceptual approach that helps bring clarity and guidance to the discussion of designing for reflection. The paper distinguishes reflective informatics by demonstrating how it both differs from and complements existing related work. Finally, the paper provides a critically reflexive consideration of its own latent assumptions, especially about the value of reflection, and how they might impact work on designing for reflection.
Baumer, E.P.S., Elovic, E., Qin, Y., Polletta, F., & Gay, G.K. (2015). Testing and Comparing Computational Approaches for Identifying the Language of Framing in Political News. in Proceedings of the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies (NAACL – HLT) (pp. 1472–1482). Denver, CO.
The subconscious influence of framing on perceptions of political issues is well-document in political science and communication research. A related line of work suggests that drawing attention to framing may help reduce such framing effects by enabling frame reflection, critical examination of the framing underlying an issue. However, definite guidance on how to identify framing does not exist. This paper presents a technique for identifying frame-invoking language. The paper first describes a human subjects pilot study that explores how individuals identify framing and informs the design of our technique. The paper then describes our data collection and annotation approach. Results show that the best performing classifiers achieve performance comparable to that of human annotators, and they indicate which aspects of language most pertain to framing. Both technical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Data Set – This includes all 75 annotated articles, as well as descriptions of the format and instructions on use.
Baumer, E.P.S., Burrell, J., Ames, M.G., Brubaker, J.R., & Dourish, P. (2015). On the Importance and Implications of Studying Technology Non-use. interactions, 22(2), 52–56.
Quit Facebook Day. Paraguayan children indifferent to their OLPC “XO” laptop. Digitally disconnected residents of SubSaharan Africa. Facebook pages of the deceased. Each of these in some way draws attention to technology nonuse. While researchers have explored questions around nonuse for some time [1,2], the dominant discourse in HCI still focuses primarily on technology users. […] So what do deceased Facebook users have in common with children in Paraguay who could care less about their XO laptops? To explore this question, we convened a workshop at ACM’s CHI 2014 conference. […] Here, the workshop organizers reflect on key topics, themes, and questions raised by participants, discussing how they might provide feedback to the broader HCI community. […] this article serves two purposes. First, it provides a sense for the scope and variety of research being conducted related to nonuse, drawing in part on examples from workshop participants. Second, it draws inspiration from discussions that occurred during the workshop to suggest some possible broader implications of, as well as important future directions for, work in this area.
Baumer, E.P.S. (2015). Usees. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Seoul). [23% acceptance rate]
HCI has developed a powerful vocabulary for thinking about, and methods for engaging with, users. Similarly, recent work has advanced complementary understanding of technology non-use. However, other spaces of interaction with technology may occur that sit uncomfortably between these two poles. This paper presents two case studies highlighting individuals who neither are clearly users of a system nor are clearly non-users. Based on these cases, the paper develops the concept of usee to help account for such situations that lie between existing analytic categories.
Baumer, E.P.S., Cipriani, C., Davis, M., He, G., Jeffrey-Wilensky, J., Kang, J., Lee, J., Zupnick, J., and Gay, G. (2014). Broadening Exposure, Questioning Opinions, and Reading Patterns with Reflext: a Computational Support for Frame Reflection. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 11(1), 45-63.
Vast amounts of political coverage are generated daily online. Some tools have been developed to help keep track of what is being said, but fewer efforts focus on how things are being said, i.e., how issues are framed. This article presents a study of Reflext, an interactive visualization tool that leverages computational linguistic analysis to support reflection on the framing of political issues. This system was deployed in a field study, during which the tool was used by regular readers of political news coverage during the 2012 U.S. election campaign. The results describe the tool’s support for a variety of activities related to frame reflection, how users integrated tool use with their existing reading practices, and broader issues in how participants interpreted the computational analysis and visualization. These findings contribute to our understanding of how algorithmically based interactive systems might mediate both the practical experiences of and situated interpretation of framing in political content.
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