Myself and my research group work broadly in the area of online communities, governance and ethics, and participatory media (sometimes, but not always, at the same time!). We are the Internet Rules Lab (IRL) because we study rules on the Internet, but also ways in which the Internet rules. Below are a list of current and recent research projects roughly divided into themes. If you are a current or prospective CU student who might be interested in working with me, please feel free to email and tell me about your interest in any of these topic areas!
For my largest research topics, you will find the most up-to-date information on these two pages:
ETHICS-RELATED RESEARCH (including research ethics, ethics education, privacy, data science and tech ethics, science fiction and ethics)
FANDOM-RELATED RESEARCH (including platforms, fandom as an LGBTQ support community, learning in fandom, design for fandom, privacy and norms in fandom, and copyright)
Below are some additional projects that do not fit cleanly into one of these two categories, mostly related to law and governance:
Moderation and norms in online communities. How do communities create their own rules, where do rules come from, how do they relate to invisible social norms, and how do moderation practices enforce them? What can we learn from human practices that could help support algorithmic moderation? (Lead Researcher: INFO PhD student Aaron Jiang)
Community-created rules on Reddit. A large-scale analysis of subreddit rules, beginning with qualitative and quantitative characterization and moving into analysis of rule creation and enforcement. (Collaboration with InfoSci colleague Jed Brubaker, PhD student Aaron Jiang, and undergraduate researchers) [Paper (ICWSM)]
Practices and interpretations around GIFs. How do we use GIFs to communicate? What is the impact of platform affordances on GIF use? How do we interpret them, and what kinds of communication challenges does this medium pose? (Lead researcher: PhD Student Aaron Jiang) [Paper 1 (CHI LBW), Paper 2 (CSCW)]
Impact of DRM/copyright on technology use. A large-scale content analysis of DMCA anti-circumvention exemption proposals, asking: How is copyright law preventing people from using technology the ways they want to?
Social Media TOS. How are the Terms of Service across social media sites similar and different, particularly when it comes to the behavior they allow or disallow? What can TOS tell us about governance in these kinds of communities? (Lead researcher: former ATLAS student Nate Beard)
Harassment policies for social media. An analysis of Terms of Service and other online policies that social media platforms use for governing harassing behavior. (Lead Researcher: Jessica Pater at Georgia Tech) [Paper (GROUP)]
Ownership of shared social media. Who “owns” a group photo on Facebook? How do users’ perceptions of their rights compare with those conferred by technical architecture or by law/policy? (Collaboration with InfoSci colleague Jed Brubaker)
Copyright & online creative communities. Casey’s dissertation (“The Role of Copyright in Online Creative Communities: Law, Norms, and Policy”), incorporating research funded by the National Science Foundation, can be downloaded here. This work was featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Engadget, and The Escapist. [Paper 1 (CSCW), Paper 2 (CSCW), Paper 3 (CSCW)]