This project investigates how to address harassment and abuse in social media. Current approaches to moderation of social media either remove content or ban users. However, neither of these approaches give perpetrators the opportunity to be held accountable and to repair harm, nor do they enable communities to address systemic problems. This project lays the intellectual groundwork to design moderation of online spaces informed by a model of justice that focuses on repairing harm, a model called restorative justice. The project will investigate the potential of technology to support restorative justice approaches. This research will create structures for repairing online harm and sets the stage for the design of online spaces where everyone can participate equally and benefit from the full potential of technology.
This project will investigate potential roles of technology to support restorative justice practices in moderating social media platforms. The research invokes a situationally appropriate research methodology of participatory design, in order to generate new understandings of online community members? needs and requirements. A new social media prototype will be designed to address these needs through experience, interaction, and computing. Intellectual merit is expected through (1) a qualitative study that generates data as the basis for a model of social media moderation based on principles of restorative justice; and (2) a prototype platform for moderation on Twitter based on applying these principles in conjunction with human-computer interaction.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.