research

My research interests are in social computing, online communities, and computer-mediated communication. I use qualitative and quantitative methods to study non-normative behavior and social deviance on social media sites. I am particularly interested in online harassment and trolling.

I am a member of the Social Media Research Lab and the Living Online Lab at the University of Michigan School of Information. I am also a Community of Scholars fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Harassment Contexts on Youbemom.com
My latest work explores harassment contexts on youbemom.com, a fully anonymous parenting forum and community. Though site users often express solidarity and support for other users, certain contexts elicit particularly egregious instances of misbehavior. I am currently applying content analysis methods to forum posts to better understand these contexts.

Anonymous Interaction and its Benefits for Adolescents
In collaboration with Dr. Nicole Ellison, Dr. Cliff Lampe, PhD pre-candidate Penny Trieu, and independent scholar Tsubasa Moriaka, this study explores adolescents’ use of anonymous question-answer site Ask.fm and surfaced several positive outcomes of anonymous use, specific to adolescents’ soclal and developmental growth. This work will appear at ICA 2016 (46% acceptance rate).

PAST PROJECTS

LGBT Parents’ Use of Social Media
I conducted interviews with 28 LGBT parents, in collaboration with PhD pre-candidates Tawfiq Ammari and Jean Hardy, Dr. Tiffany Veinot, Dr. Cliff Lampe, and Dr. Sarita Schoenebeck. This study explores the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents as they navigate their own identity and privacy concerns in tandem with the challenges of child-rearing in an increasingly digital context. The results of this work will appear in the proceedings of CHI 2016 (PDF; 23% acceptance rate). 

Families and Social Media
I conducted 42 interviews with parents and their teenage children about household technology use, in collaboration with Dr. Sarita Schoenebeck and BSI student Emma Gardiner. Paired analysis surfaced a number of tensions between parents and children. Specifically, parents underestimate their children’s social media use. Parents report that they communicate with their children about technology, but children feel their parents only tell them which behaviors to avoid. Both parents and children describe violating household technology rules. While parents and children are not looking for more attention from each other, they do want their expectations of attention to be shared—that is, agreed-upon contexts when attention is paid to each other instead of a device. The results of this work will appear in the proceedings of CSCW 2016 (PDF; 25% acceptance rate). We thank the National Science Foundation (HCC #1318143) for support.

Young Adults’ Reflections on their Teenage Facebooks
I worked with Dr. Sarita Schoenebeck and Dr. Nicole Ellison as part of an ongoing study of adolescent social connections in online environments. Drawing on interview data with 28 young adults, this study investigates how young adults reflect on their historical Facebook use. Young adults perceive archival value in their Facebook histories, and often choose not to delete content—even if it is embarrassing—in order to preserve authenticity. Many of our participants “backstalked” the Timelines of other Facebook users, though they did this openly only with close friends. We discuss the concept of retrospective impression management, which describes how young adults manage past content to better align with their present-day self-presentational goals. This research becomes especially crucial with the rise of applications like Timehop and On This Day, which intentionally resurface historical digital content to present-day audiences. The results of this work will appear in the proceedings of CSCW 2016 (PDF; 25% acceptance rate). We thank the University of Michigan MCubed Program and the National Science Foundation (HCC #1318143) for support.

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