Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media

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    “Thank you, next”: A Call for Intentional Design
    ( 2020-01-07) Garcia, Melina
    As a social network science axiom, homophily informs the current design of Web 2.0 platforms, like Spotify. As a result, sociotechnical systems propagate current hegemonic structures such as historically male-dominated markets like the music industry. To understand how the current design of sociotechnical systems promote existing power structures, this investigation performed an empirical social network comparison between the organic 2018 hip-hop collaboration network and Spotify's automated related hip-hop artist network. This study produced several interesting findings including, (1) organic network tie formation differs from automated networks, (2) homophilous and heterophilous connections were positively correlated with artists’ gender, and (3) statistically significant homophilous male connections were observed in Spotify’s related Hip Hop artist network but not in the organic network. By and large, these findings suggest that Spotify’s sociotechnical architecture and affordances promote the existing patriarchal structure.
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    How do the women of Open Source support each other?
    ( 2020-01-07) Singh, Vandana ; Brandon, William
    This paper presents an analysis of 10,698 messages from five online forums with 1,344 participants to identify patterns of activity, major topics of discussion, and the type of social support available for participants in these Open Source Software (OSS) forums. We found that these forums serve as safe spaces shared by marginalized populations, for collaborating, networking and most importantly providing social support to each other.
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    Researcher Views and Practices around Informing, Getting Consent, and Sharing Research Outputs with Social Media Users When Using Their Public Data
    ( 2020-01-07) Proferes, Nicholas ; Walker, Shawn
    Publicly accessible social media data is frequently used for scientific research. However, numerous questions remain regarding what ethical obligations researchers have in regard to using such content. We report on researchers’ own views and practices regarding informing, getting consent from, and sharing research outputs with users when using publicly accessible social media data. Findings reveal both diverging current practices and views on what researchers ought to do in the future. Some researchers view the ethics of public data use as merely requiring compliance with the requirements of their ethics board, while others’ ethical practices go beyond what is minimally required. Some researchers worry about the effects of contacting users to inform, seek consent, or share outputs with users. Yet others note that they want to build bridges with online communities through these mechanisms, but struggle with a lack of precedent and tools to do so at scale.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media
    ( 2020-01-07) Sutherland, Tonia ; Kilgour, Lauren ; Wood, Stacy