Ph.D. Research Reception, Part 1
Join us as Ph.D. students from the School of Information share their innovative research.
The Ph.D. program at the School of Information draws doctoral students from a wide array of disciplines whose interests and approaches are as varied as their backgrounds. Though they all take technology as their object of study, our Ph.D. students approach the topic from many different angles — economic, political, social, legal, ethical — in an effort to understand the present impact and future development of information technology.
|A Restorative Justice Approach to Addressing Harm in Online Gaming Communities
|Place Agnostic Platforms
|Enacting Privacy in Internet Standards
A Restorative Justice Approach to Addressing Harm in Online Gaming Communities
The content moderation practices on most online social platforms follow a punitive justice approach: they rely on measures like bans and content removals to regulate offenders of harm. We consider an alternative justice framework, restorative justice, which centers the needs of the victims and the reparation of harm. Through interviewing 23 users from the Overwatch gaming communities, we find that some victims and offenders show willingness to engage in a restorative justice process to heal from the harm or repair their wrong-doing. Many volunteer moderators have a mindset that aligns with punitive justice, but their moderation practices also involve some elements of restorative justice. We argue that it is possible to establish the role of a restorative justice facilitator in online gaming communities to facilitate restorative justice process. We also conclude that it is vital to change people’s notion of justice to implement restorative justice at scale.
Place Agnostic Platforms
I look at two kinds of platforms, social media (Facebook, Twitter) and real estate (Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com), that are notable because they are place agnostic, and yet, they are used to create an understanding of place. The interface remains the same, the data are presented in the same way, the user can take the same possible actions. However, place still informs the user’s understanding of the platform, and their interaction with it. Where are these moments of friction between local context and place agnostic platforms? And what is their significance for the people who interact with these platforms and the data they produce?
Enacting Privacy in Internet Standards
The social, legal and technical architecture of the Internet and the Web determine so much about the lives of people around the world and deserve the attention of research on their impacts. Using consensus-based multistakeholder processes focused on interoperability for the Internet presents real, new opportunities to enact privacy by intentionally taking advantage of handoffs between social, technical and organizational factors. At the same time, this work highlights some of the challenges to convening for, equitably designing, agreeing on and implementing these techno-policy standards. Training people in intersecting disciplines, developing systematic processes and building technical and decisional tools can all contribute to better support for privacy, security and the other fundamental but still contested values we want to see in the Internet.