ACM CSCW Conference Explores Crossroads of Technology and Human Interaction

Program Includes Presentations on Media Bias, Research on Collaboration in Crisis, and Impact of Online Gaming

New York, NY, October 29, 2018 – Technology’s impact on virtually every aspect of society will again be the focus of the 21st Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2018). The conference will bring together academics, researchers and practitioners to present groundbreaking research on the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges and benefits of using technologies to support collaborative work and life activities.

CSCW 2018, to be held November 3-7 in Jersey City, New Jersey, features 295 research papers in seven concurrent sessions, and over 70 posters and demos.

Research presented at this year’s conference will explore answers to practical problems that lie at the intersection of technology and social practices, including:  privacy in homes and groups; healthcare and social relationships; accessibility and disability; and credibility and misinformation.

“As technology continues to be woven into the fabric of every aspect of daily life, it’s important to take a step back and look not only at the benefits, but also the issues and challenges technology presents,” said Communications and Outreach Co-Chair Casey Fiesler, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder. “The research at presented at CSCW over the years has been vital in the shaping the development and design of technologies with regard to their effects on social practices. This year’s conference offers an exciting mix of research in that tradition.”


Keynote Addresses
“A Discussion on Media, Platforms and Bias”
Emily Bell, Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University; Julia Angwin, The Markup
Technology—and more specifically technology platforms—are reshaping the news people get and what they believe; how elections play out; how employers feel about economic growth and willingness to create new jobs; how goods and services are accessed, and who is paid for them. In this keynote, veteran journalists Emily Bell and Julia Angwin will discuss how bias in a variety of media and how technology platforms can play a part in creating and promoting that bias.

“Turning the Tables: The Digital Mediation of Poker”
Natasha Dow Schüll, New York University
Natasha Dow Schüll, a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication, will explore how the social experience of poker is changing in the online setting. She will discuss how access to data-tracking, algorithmic strategy recommendations and automated response features, and the trend toward the digitization of traditional forms of gambling—screen-based “e-tables”—has economic and social implications.

Best Papers (partial list):

“Making Sense of Group Chat through Collaborative Tagging and Summarization”
Amy X. Zhang, MIT CSAIL; Justin Cranshaw, Microsoft Research
While group chat is becoming increasingly popular for team collaboration, these systems generate long streams of unstructured back-and-forth discussion that are difficult to comprehend. In this work, the authors investigate ways to enrich the representation of chat conversations, using techniques such as tagging and summarization, to enable users to better make sense of chat.

“Eliciting Values Reflections by Engaging Privacy Futures Using Design Workbooks”
Richmond Y. Yong, Deirdre Mulligan, Ellen Van Wyk, James Pierce, John Chuang, UC Berkeley
Although “privacy by design” (PBD)—embedding privacy protections into products during design, rather than retroactively—uses the term “design” to recognize how technical design choices implement and settle policy, design approaches and methodologies are largely absent from PBD conversations. The authors present a case study using a design workbook of speculative design fictions as a values elicitation tool. They discuss how these design artifacts surface contextual, socially-oriented understandings of privacy, and their potential utility in relationship to other values levers.

“Hacking with NPOs: Collaborative Analytics and Broker Roles in Civic Data Hackathons”
Youyang Hou, University of Michigan Dakuo Wang, IBM
Recently nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are adopting more and more data-driven approaches to their work, yet NPOs often lack appropriate tools and expertise in such data related works. To compensate, many NPOs are using a new form of collaboration, civic data hackathons, to leverage on external volunteers' data expertise. In this paper, we sought to understand how civic data hackathons could generate impactful data analytics for NPOs' data-driven work, and how to support collaborative data analytics during hackathons. We collected various types of data (observations, surveys, and interviews) from two civic data hackathons with nine NPOs and over 300 data volunteers in a Midwestern city in the US. Our results describe the collaboration activities and the types of actionable collaborative analytics outputs generated from these activities.

Papers (partial list):

“Acting the Part: Examining Information Operations within #BlackLivesMatter Discourse”
Ahmer Arif, Leo Graiden Stewart, Kate Starbird, University of Washington
Information campaigns that seek to tap into and manipulate online discussions are becoming an issue of increasing concern. This research shows how social media accounts linked to one such operation allegedly conducted by Russia’s Internet Research Agency participated in an online discourse about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and police related shootings in the US in 2016. This research aims to enhance understanding of how information operations can leverage the interactive social media environment to both reflect and shape existing social divisions.

“Fake Cures: User-centric Modeling of Health Misinformation in Social Media”
Amira Ghenai, University of Waterloo, Canada; Yelena Mejova, ISI Foundation, Italy
Social media’s unfettered access has made it an important venue for health discussion and a resource for patients and their loved ones. However, the quality of the information available, as well as the motivations of its posters, has been questioned. This work examines the individuals on social media that are posting questionable health-related information, and in particular promoting cancer treatments which have been shown to be ineffective (making it a kind of misinformation, willful or not). The paper also provides a potential tool for public health officials to identify such individuals for preventive intervention.

“MyPath: Investigating Breast Cancer Patients’ Use of Personalized Health Information”
Maia Jacobs, Harvard University; Jeremy Johnson, Elizabeth D. Mynatt, Georgia Institute of Technology
Following a cancer diagnosis, patients must cope with numerous physical, emotional, and practical challenges. While health information exists to help patients learn how to manage these challenges, health information-seeking often declines over time, recalling information is difficult, and limited time with healthcare providers can leave patients feeling uninformed about their illness. The authors designed MyPath to overcome these information access challenges, and monitored how cancer patients used the application through a seven-month deployment study.

“The Influence of Friends and Experts on Privacy Decision Making in IoT Scenarios”
Pardis Emami-Naeini, Lujo Bauer, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University; Richard Chow, Mohammad Reza Haghighat, Heather Patterson, Intel Corporation; Martin Degeling, Ruhr-University, Germany
As increasingly many Internet of Things (IoT) devices collect personal data, users face more privacy decisions. Personal privacy assistants can provide social cues and help users make informed decisions by presenting information about how others have decided in similar cases. To better understand which social cues are relevant and whose recommendations users are more likely to follow, the authors presented 1000 online participants with nine IoT data-collection scenarios. The authors' results help explain under what circumstances users are more or less likely to be swayed by the reported behavior of others in similar scenarios.

“To Label or Not to Label: The Effect of Stance and Credibility Labels on Readers’ Selection and Perception of News Articles”
Mingkun Gao, Ziang Xiao, Karrie Karahalios, Wai-Tat Fu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Social media sites use different labels to help users find and select news feeds. For example, Blue Feed, Red Feed, a news feed created by the Wall Street Journal, use stance labels to separate news articles with opposing political ideologies to help people explore diverse opinions. To combat the spread of fake news, Facebook has experimented with putting credibility labels on news articles to help readers decide whether the content is trustworthy. To systematically understand the effects of stance and credibility labels on online news selection and consumption, we conducted a controlled experiment to study how these labels influence the selection, perceived extremeness, and level of agreement of news articles.

About CSCW

CSCW ( is the premier venue for presenting research in the design and use of technologies that affect groups, organizations, communities, and networks. Bringing together top researchers and practitioners from academia and industry who are interested in the area of social computing, CSCW encompasses both the technical and social challenges encountered when supporting collaboration.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Jim Ormond
ACM Media Relations

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