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  • Designing The Numbers That Govern Wikipedia: Aaron Halfaker on Machine Learning in Large-Scale Open Production | MIT Center for Civic Media
    or policy If a norm gets introduced formally it s easier to enforce One example of a formal guideline is the Wikipedia expectation of verifiability for contributions He talks about his early work on the growth of informal regulations on the site showing ways that people cite these norms Next Aaron talks about the quality control systems on the site which are focused on identifying and removing damage from the site In addition to asking people to look at vandalism the site has a fully automated system for detecting vandalism It s fast but it can only catch a small proportion of vandalism Next contributions are reviewed by a semi automated system that organizes people to review them in about 30 seconds Finally the organization has admins who have the capacity to ban vandals Wikipedia is built by a large number of people so community management is also an important part of the system Each day around 6 000 people join Wikipedia in some way per day The site has a system that tries to detect good faith contributors from the bots and vandals so they can offer meaningful support to them Another system that facilitates the site are the practices through which Wikipedia reflects and adapts unlike most other platforms Wikipedia is led by its users And so Aaron is accountable to Wikipedia users and contributors in ways that the typical tech company employee won t be The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System Aaron tells us about his early work on the growth of Wikipedia In the early days of Wikipedia everyone knew each other But from 2004 to 2007 the site scaled dramatically increasing to around 50 000 contributors So the people running Wikipedia added quality control tools to maintain the site Almost immediately afterward participation on the site started to decline What led to that To help us understand this Aaron talks to us about research by Donna Haraway on scientists who were studying the same apes The male dominated science groups drew conclusions about reproductive competition and dominance while feminist scientists drew conclusions about communication and social grooming To make sense of this Haraway developed a theory of standpoints and objectivity depending on your standpoint you might think that certain things are important to understand and come to different objectivities By acknowledging this Haraway argued it s possible to develop complementary objectivities that come from these different standpoints Standpoint Theory in Wikipedia Standpoint theory can help us understand the problems experienced by the Wikipedia anti vandalism system Coming from the standpoint that Wikipedia is a firehose bad edits must be reverted and that they should minimize effort dealing with those problems These systems led to a 90 reduction in effort and an increase in efficiency in reducing vandalism But unfortunately these new systems were forgetting to welcome the newcomers In other words the quality control efforts were overriding the community management goals Building on the standpoint of newcomer welcoming Wikipedia has been able

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/designing-the-numbers-that-govern-wikipedia-aaron-halfaker-on-machine-learning-in (2016-04-29)
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  • Monitoring, Explaining, and Intervening: Field Experiments and Social Justice | MIT Center for Civic Media
    making those injustices invisible to researchers 7 10 35 More broadly social computing and HCI research have a deficit of reliable dependent variables on issues of public interest compared to measures of productivity 38 Participation and Deliberation Quantitative researchers have a history of paternalism that ignores people s voices in favor of surveilling their behavior and forcing interventions into their lives 51 For that reason deliberative democracy theorists identify experimentation as a major risk to citizen participation and agency Rhetoric from experimental results can override citizen deliberation and paternalistic policies could nudge away citizen agency 26 In contrast with these paternalistic approaches social justice HCI research has emphasized participatory methods that include participants as co creators of the goals design and evaluation of social justice efforts 4 Research Ethics Field experiments are also at the heart of an ongoing debate over the ethics of HCI research 22 In particular research on issues of inequality and injustice often involve vulnerable populations and offer differential risks and benefits to participants 28 While some scholars advocate for an obligation to experiment in cases of public interest 40 the work of maintaining and studying large online platforms raises ethics and accountability challenges for experimenters 8 Participatory Field Experiments I believe that some risks of causal inference in social justice work can be addressed by incorporating lessons from participatory and emancipatory action research 25 in the design of experiments First quantitative research on social justice can employ qualitative research and participatory design Methods of experimental ethnography structure qualitative research through an experimental design 44 My own research on social movements at Microsoft this summer explored participatory hypothesis testing mixed methods participatory approaches to sampling modeling and interpreting quantitative research on social platforms 37 Second participatory methods can be used within the interventions that experimenters evaluate In one field experiment students were offered training and support to develop their own digital media campaigns this intervention reduced conflict reports in schools while also testing theories related to the position of students within their social networks 46 Third marginalized groups are already using socio technical systems to develop situated knowledge 23 on issues of labor rights street harassment and online governance 19 A social justice approach to causal research might also expand access to experimental capacities supporting marginalized groups to develop their own situated knowledge on causal questions Finally experimental results need not override marginalized voices in policy debates They just offer one more piece of evidence to deliberation As I show participants in the cornhole experiment even the cleanest experiment leaves plenty of questions for debate In fact research on discrimination in meetings may even expand participation and fairness in delibaration 26 27 Other experiments could even test ways to expand citizen power in the face of paternalism In one work in progress study researchers conducted bottom up experiments to optimize government compliance with citizen requests 52 Conclusion In this post I have outlined ways that causal research is used for monitoring social injustices understanding the causes of those injustices and evaluating interventions to expand the realization of human dignity While causal methods do introduce risks of reductionist paternalism I have tried to sketch out possible directions for participatory field experiments By experimenting from the standpoint of citizens we may be able to work through some of those risks What are your thoughts I would love to hear your reactions in the comments Bibliography 1 Joshua Angrist and Jorn Steffen Pischke 2010 The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics How Better Research Design is Taking the Con out of Econometrics Working Paper 15794 National Bureau of Economic Research http www nber org papers w15794 2 Barak Ariel William A Farrar and Alex Sutherland 2014 The Effect of Police Body Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens Complaints Against the Police A Randomized Controlled Trial J Quant Criminol 31 3 Nov 2014 509 535 DOI http dx doi org 10 1007 s10940 014 9236 3 3 David C Baldus Charles Pulaski and George Woodworth 1983 Comparative review of death sentences An empirical study of the Georgia experience Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1983 661 753 http www jstor org stable 1143133 4 Francois Bar Melissa Brough Sasha Costanza Chock Carmen Gonzalez C J Wallis and Amanda Garces 2009 Mobile voices A mobile open source popular communication platform for first generation immigrants in Los Angeles In Pre conference workshop at the ICA Conference Chicago Illinois http lirneasia net wp content uploads 2009 05 final paper bar et al pdf 5 Shaowen Bardzell 2010 Feminist HCI taking stock and outlining an agenda for design In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ACM 1301 1310 http dl acm org citation cfm id 1753521 6 Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan 2003 Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal A field experiment on labor market discrimination Technical Report National Bureau of Economic Research http www nber org papers w9873 7 Geoffrey C Bowker and Susan Leigh Star 1999 The case of race classification and reclassification under apartheid Sorting things out Classification and its consequences 1999 195 225 8 d Boyd 2016 Untangling research and practice What Facebook s emotional contagion study teaches us Research Ethics 12 1 2016 4 13 DOI http dx doi org 10 1177 1747016115583379 9 Justin Cheng Cristian Danescu Niculescu Mizil and Jure Leskovec 2015 Antisocial Behavior in Online Discussion Communities arXiv preprint arXiv 1504 00680 2015 http arxiv org abs 1504 00680 10 Sophie Chou 2015 Race and the Machine Sept 2015 http sophiechou com papers chou racepaper pdf 11 Jill P Dimond 2012 Feminist HCI for real Designing technology in support of a social movement Ph D Dissertation Georgia Institute of Technology http jilldimond com wp content uploads 2012 08 dimond dissertation pdf 12 Jennifer L Doleac and Luke CD Stein 2013 The visible hand Race and online market outcomes The Economic Journal 123 572 2013 F469 F492 http onlinelibrary wiley com doi 10 1111 ecoj 12082 full

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/monitoring-explaining-and-intervening-field-experiments-and-social-justice (2016-04-29)
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  • The Cornhole Experiment: A Workshop for Teaching Randomized Trials | MIT Center for Civic Media
    the true effect of playing a shorter cornhole without randomization we randomly assigned players to two different cornhole games with the classic method of slips of paper in a bag sometimes choosing a lower quality technique like this makes the principle clearer In addition to a group assignment these slips contained ID numbers which allowed us to establish a norm of anonymization Each player was asked to make 9 tosses using a set of DIY beanbags we created by pouring lentils into ziploc bags and taping them closed In fact the entire experiment was designed using household items to emphasize the accessibility of experimental methods As players tossed the bags two researchers recorded their height institution ID number and throw results in a Google Spreadsheet Analyzing Cornhole Experiment Data As the experiment concluded I downloaded a CSV of the Google Spreadsheet to my laptop and loaded it into the statistical software R where I had already set up a file to analyze the results In a series of cross tables and box plots I showed a series of bi variate relationships Out of 99 throws by 11 players only 1 3 of tosses in the control group successfully scored In contrast over half of the tosses by the treatment group had scored in some way MIT students who outnumbered Harvard students also scored much more on average than the Harvard students and had a shorter mean height than Harvard students The mean experience value for scoring throws was higher than the mean for non scoring throws perhaps there might be a relationship between experience and the chance of scoring The mean height for successful throws was also higher than the mean height for unsuccessful ones perhaps taller people do better at cornhole In a series of logistic regressions we tested the hypothesis that the players of the closer cornhole had a higher chance of scoring than players of the further cornhole We also tested all of the possible control hypotheses Here are the results from the final model glm formula Binary Score Group Throw Number Height Institution family binomial data throws Deviance Residuals Min 1Q Median 3Q Max 1 6450 0 8935 0 5725 1 0773 2 0173 Coefficients Estimate Std Error z value Pr z Intercept 6 74722 7 22492 0 934 0 35036 TREATMENT 1 39496 0 53187 2 623 0 00872 Throw Number 0 16894 0 08820 1 915 0 05544 Height 0 07421 0 11123 0 667 0 50464 MIT 0 23477 0 54951 0 427 0 66922 Signif codes 0 0 001 0 01 0 05 0 1 1 Dispersion parameter for binomial family taken to be 1 Null deviance 132 75 on 98 degrees of freedom Residual deviance 117 61 on 94 degrees of freedom AIC 127 61 Number of Fisher Scoring iterations 4 In this experiment assigning a player to a closer cornhole platform had a strong positive effect on the estimated scoring chances of a throw by that person holding everything else

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/the-cornhole-experiment-a-workshop-for-teaching-randomized-trials (2016-04-29)
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  • What is Platform Cooperativism and Why is it Important? | MIT Center for Civic Media
    to celebrate this state of play How can we call the sharing economy innovative and efficient if it promotes a reduction of rights classism and racism These companies he says dodge taxes route around labor laws and operate illegally in some cities Trebor also argues that academics who do work on platforms often focus on understanding and extending the power of these companies rather than trying to understand the long term implications of these systems or imagine alternatives Is it really so unthinkable to escape companies like Facebook Google Crowdflower and others Trebor argues that none of the issues of fairness labor rights healthcare and privacy can be changed until we reimagine shared ownership democratic governance and solidarity Even when companies try to be nice to workers there s a distrust he says in those companies Is it really impossible to shift structures of the Internet so everyone can reap the fruits of their own labor What is Platform Cooperativism Platform cooperativism says Trebor is about cloning the technological heart of online platforms and puts it to work with a cooperative model one that puts workers owners communities and cities in a kind of solidarity that leads to political power Trebor offers a series of types of platform coops Cooperative online labor brokerages marketplaces In Germany Fairmondo started as a global marketplace owned by its users like a co operative ebay In SF Loconomics is a freelance co operative where freelancers have shares and have a voice in running the company Produser Owned Platform Cooperative These sites like Resonate music Members Media film and Stocksy stock photography allow producers to co own the platforms to which they are selling their work The objective of these co operatives are to create careers for their producers who co own systems City Owned Platforms Trebor notes that even in the US cities own hotels hospitals and many public services He describes work by Janelle Orsi to imagine publicly owned platforms muni bnb would be a city owned airbnb system that invests profits into city projects all bnb would be modeled after the Alaska Permanent Fund and would pay residents for the profits made by sharing hosting Another idea is the sharing city Seoul who offer a city operated taxi hailing system Union backed platforms The California App Based Drivers Association unionizes drivers who participate in sharing economy platforms In New Jersey the Union Taxi Cooperative also operates its own platform Cooperatives From Within Trebor talks about the idea of worker cooperatives forming in the belly of the sharing economy if governments decided to break up these monopolies and convert them into co ops The Institution as Peer to Peer Protocol Another option is to create infrastructures an idea promoted by advocates of blockchain architectures including the Resources system in Israel Principles of Platform Co operative Ecosystems Co operatives don t exist in a vacuum They need funding schemes lawyers software engineers workers and designers Funders like the Worker s Lab and Mondragon In

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/what-is-platform-cooperativism-and-why-is-it-important (2016-04-29)
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  • Mentorship, Intellectual Freedom, and a Great Environment For Research: My MSR Internship at the Social Media Collective | MIT Center for Civic Media
    personal growth Intellectual freedom Other corporate internships prioritize the contribution you make to the company vetting your research before publication while MSR strongly supports you to make a scholarly contribution first and foremost 12 weeks to design and carry out one full study On one hand the time passes very quickly On the other hand you will be able to dedicate all of your time to making that research excellent Regular feedback and brainstorming on your research project Companionship conversation and adventures with other thoughtful PhD candidates including other interns from economics mathematics and computer science Intimate conversations with scholars who cycle through Over the summer I enjoyed deeply helpful lunches with Fred Turner Annette Markham Henry Jenkins and many others Opportunities to reflect on the arc of your career with people who have a wide view of the fields you work in Access to other research communities in the Boston area This past year PhD interns gave talks at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society Access in some cases to conversations with other parts of the company if relevant to your research Life in Boston Camberville which is wonderful A 9 5 schedule and consequently a chance to regenerate partway through your PhD Generous compensation including funds to cover travel accommodation and more An opportunity designed to be family friendly throughout including company wide social gatherings I attempted to eat lobster for the first time and it totally defeated me An inclusive and caring work environment that embodies mutual respect for people of all identities and beliefs An amazing view I will always remember how open and honest Nancy Mary Tarleton and the others were about the state of their work and the challenges they faced As someone who s not normally surrounded by qualitative researchers I found it deeply helpful to listen as they talked through the daily struggles of their research The researchers at SMC all share a special kind of experienced and confident humility about doing good work that offered me a helpful model for what it means to be a researcher of integrity I already knew from hard experience the importance of being puzzled and getting stuck But I learned much by watching Social Media Collective researchers articulate their challenges and work through them Among the many wonderful seminar conversations we shared I especially loved our extended conversation with Henry Jenkins about how to harmonize the work of being a public intellectual while also doing high quality research that other scholars validate My Summer Research at MSR Online Harassment and the Work of Moderators Online I came to MSR fresh from research on the challenges of reviewing and responding to harassment on Twitter alongside a semester of wide reading in social movement theory and research on digital labor Within the first week I confirmed my decision to spend the summer looking at the work of moderators on reddit Mary Nancy Tarleton and Annette offered deeply helpful feedback and ideas on how to go about

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/mentorship-intellectual-freedom-and-a-great-opportunity-to-grow-my-phd-internship-at (2016-04-29)
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  • natematias | MIT Center for Civic Media
    In the months after I led the research team on a peer reviewed report about harassment on Twitter many designers platform operators and advocates have asked me if there s any academic research about online harassment and what it says As a researcher I felt the opposite problem Online harassment and abuse have motivated so much research that it can be hard to wade through it all especially because the research often appears in fields that rarely talk to each other In many cases designers and advocates propose great ideas that have also been tried elsewhere approaches whose benefits and problems have already been discussed at length Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about A New Starting Point for Understanding Online Harassment natematias s blog 9 Working Examples of Platform Cooperatives Submitted by natematias on November 13 2015 8 22pm Having spent a day here in New York City discussing the idea of platform cooperatives the conversation shifted this evening with a showcase of nine actual cooperative organizations and technologies image by Jojo Karlin Starting out the conversation was New York City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo She talked about first hearing about the idea of worker owned businesses at a conference by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and then took the idea forward with the New York City Council For 2016 the city approved of a 2 1 million Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative Arroyo talked about her hopes that they would be able to promote similar initiatives at a state and federal level Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about 9 Working Examples of Platform Cooperatives natematias s blog Organizing Labor in Platform Economies Platform Cooperativism Conference Submitted by natematias on November 13 2015 5 25pm What forms of networked solidarity are emerging in an era of online platforms and how might we organize labor in platform economies I m here at the two day Platform Cooperativism conference at the New School in New York city I ll be facilitating a workshop on data science in cooperative economies with Tara Adiseshan at 2pm on Sat and will be speaking on monitoring abuses of power at 4pm on Sat In the meantime I m liveblogging as many sessions as I can Facilitated by Sara Horowitz Founder and Exec Director of Freelancers Union Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Organizing Labor in Platform Economies Platform Cooperativism Conference natematias s blog Threats and Challenges to Cooperative Economies Platform Cooperativism Conference Submitted by natematias on November 13 2015 12 55pm What challenges must be overcome to move towards cooperative economies This weekend I m here at the Platform cooperativism conference where I ll be talking on Saturday at 4pm This session on making it work featured a series of sociologists legal scholars and business scholars to discuss this question Juliet Schor JulietSchor How To Build And Sustain Cooperative Platforms What could the platform cooperativism movement learn from how people are

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/users/natematias?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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  • natematias | MIT Center for Civic Media
    Submitted by natematias on November 10 2015 5 14pm What are impacts of algorithms on workers and how do they respond to being managed by algorithms Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Understanding Responding and Resisting Algorithmic Management Min Kyung Lee on Uber Lyft and Human Centered Algorithm Design natematias s blog Bot Based Collective Blocklists in Twitter The Counterpublic Moderation of a Privately Owned Networked Public Space Submitted by natematias on October 24 2015 10 52am Here at the 16th conference of the Association of Internet Researchers I attended a talk by Stuart Geiger who is doing helpful work to theorize the role of block bots in conversation on the Internet Over the years Stuart s thinking has been deeply influential to my own approach I ve written about his work twice before in my Atlantic article about how people work to fix broken systems that aren t theirs to repair I ve also liveblogged a great talk he gave on supporting change from the outside platforms Stuart opens by saying that block bots are systems where anti harassment activists have developed algorithmic software agents to deal with harassment relatively independently from Twitter Blockbots involve different kinds of gatekeeping than what we typically think about It s different from algorithmic gatekeeping Tufekci network gatekeeping Nahon or filter bubbles Pariser How can we make sense of it Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Bot Based Collective Blocklists in Twitter The Counterpublic Moderation of a Privately Owned Networked Public Space natematias s blog Online Vigilantes the Wikipedia GamerGate Controversy Ethics of Bots at AOIR 16 Submitted by natematias on October 22 2015 5 48pm I m here at the 16th AOIR conference liveblogging a session on ethics You can see the abstracts and papers here To start out Mathias Klang gives a talk about online vigilantism On The Internet Nobody Can See Your Cape The ethics of online vigilantism What is online vigilantism Mathias talks about large scale online responses to the Justine Sacco case the infamous smiling selfie from Auschwitz the dentist who shot cecil the lion the woman who put a cat in a bin in Coventry Most of these events don t go to court they are actions that lead us to be annoyed somehow says Mathias Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Online Vigilantes the Wikipedia GamerGate Controversy Ethics of Bots at AOIR 16 natematias s blog Religious Hashtags Memes and Apps Online AOIR 16 Liveblog Submitted by natematias on October 22 2015 3 00pm This weekend I m here at the 16th AOIR conference blogging panels and talks as well as talking about my research on ways that users put platforms under pressure As a Christian who occasionally writes about intersections between faith and technology I was delighted to attend the AOIR session on religion and the Internet Here are my notes Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Religious Hashtags

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/users/natematias?page=2 (2016-04-29)
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  • natematias | MIT Center for Civic Media
    have grown in prominence after an influential and controversial 2004 study on the effect of deworming on school attendance in Kenya Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about The Cornhole Experiment A Workshop for Teaching Randomized Trials natematias s blog Doctoral Feedback Session on Causal Inference at OSSM Deadline Oct 19 Submitted by natematias on October 17 2015 10 02am Are you a PhD student who is doing research that uses methods of causal inference randomized trials natural experiments etc on social media and user generated data If so I have good news of a last minute addition to the AAAI Spring Symp on Observational Studies through Social Media and Other Human Generated Content This workshop which takes place at Stanford on March 21 23 is a 3 day gathering that brings together researchers across disciplines to discuss approaches and issues for causal inference research The organizers have kindly offered space for a doctoral feedback session for PhD students planning to do related work This informal gathering will bring together PhD students to get feedback on their research designs and work together to improve the quality of our methods Since so many of the speakers and attendees are experienced at using causal inference methods it s the perfect context to share early stage work and get feedback on your research Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Doctoral Feedback Session on Causal Inference at OSSM Deadline Oct 19 natematias s blog The Story Behind MIT and Boston University s New Legal Clinic for Student Innovation Submitted by natematias on September 9 2015 1 37pm Today MIT President Rafael Reif announced an exciting collaboration between MIT and the Boston University School of Law to assist students with a broad range of legal matters related to entrepreneurship and cyber law from basic issues associated with the founding of startup companies to novel questions about the application of laws and regulations to students innovation related activities here s the BU press release The legal clinic is the culmination of years of discussions and work by student advocates faculty and administration to address a recurring need at MIT for robust and supportive legal help for students doing innovative work Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about The Story Behind MIT and Boston University s New Legal Clinic for Student Innovation natematias s blog Common Questions About Our Online Harassment Report Submitted by natematias on July 14 2015 12 59pm The process of reporting and responding to online harassment is the least understood and arguably most important part of the problem Most of what we know about receiving harassment comes from the small number of people who are courageous enough to face the risk of telling their personal stories Maeve Duggan s recent Pew report about online harassment helps us understand the experience of harassment across a nationally representative sample but efforts by companies to address online harassment are still mostly secret For all sorts of

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/users/natematias?page=3 (2016-04-29)
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