Deconstructing Online Hate

What does the landscape of online hate look like and how do you visualize it? Erin Malone talks about her project with ADL’s Center for Technology and Society to map the ecosystems of hate in digital social spaces.

By visualizing the ecosystem of online hate, we hoped to make the complexity of these spaces more understandable to all public stakeholders- from journalists to researchers to civil society, government and industry. In creating a shared understanding of the landscape, we aimed to uncover and clarify places where organizations and people can disrupt the cycles of hate amplification and escalation and help to make digital platforms safe, respectful, and inclusive spaces for all people.

Every person’s experiences of each digital social space—its problems and its attempts at solutions—are specific to that person, and are heavily influenced by a person’s identity. This is especially true for individuals belonging to vulnerable and marginalized communities.

At the same time, there are often patterns of behavior, as well similarities in how digital social spaces function, that overlap between platforms and across identities. By tracking these patterns, we can better understand pathways to solutions.

How can interaction designers benefit from recognizing and understanding the ecosystem of hate online?

How might UX / interaction designers utilize an understanding of the ecosystem in their own work?

How can interaction designers work together across the field to help mitigate the levels and amplification of online hate in social platforms and online games?

This session will share a project done in collaboration with the Anti Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society to visualize this ecosystem in a series of diagrams and to discuss the questions we looked at, the questions we still have, the continued investigation, and how we are using these models to stimulate conversations about policy, product design and moderation with industry, academia, law enforcement, and civil society organizations.

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