Design for collective action

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From Twitter hashtags such as #metoo to protests by Amazon Mechanical Turk workers in the public sphere, collectives come together online to make progress on shared issues. Research has long celebrated the web's affordances for galvanizing such coordinated action. By lowering the costs of communication, the web promises to enable distributed collectives to gather and act around shared issues. However, in practice even highly motivated collectives often fail to envision shared outcomes and act on them collectively. This dissertation introduces social computing systems that directly center trust and familiarity to more effectively support collective action. I will demonstrate this concept through three projects. The first, Hive, explores how social systems can help build strong networks by organizing a collective into small teams, then intermixing viewpoints by gradually rotating team membership. I deployed this project with Mozilla to reimagine accessible web browsing with disability advocates online. The second project, Huddler, demonstrates an algorithmic solution to the problem of teams benefiting from highly familiar members but experiencing unpredictable availability. Finally, the third project, Dynamo, shows how structured human labor can help move efforts forward when they stall. I undertook this project in collaboration with worker rights advocates on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Through the body of work in this dissertation I envision alternate roles for social computing ecosystems in society that directly support efforts for social change.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2018; ©2018
Publication date 2018; 2018
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Salehi, Niloufar
Degree supervisor Bernstein, Michael S, 1984-
Thesis advisor Bernstein, Michael S, 1984-
Thesis advisor Landay, James A, 1967-
Degree committee member Landay, James A, 1967-
Associated with Stanford University, Computer Science Department.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Niloufar Salehi.
Note Submitted to the Computer Science Department.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2018.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2018 by Niloufar Salehi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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