Social Computing Lab

The Social Computing Lab is based in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Our goal is to make the internet fairer, safer, and more inclusive. We contribute empirical evidence that guides design and policy solutions to improve platform governance.

Ongoing projects

  • Taking a user-centered approach to incorporate fairness, accountability, and transparency in flagging mechanisms at each stage — before, during, and after flagging
  • Using social psychology and communication theories to design warning labels against inappropriate content on social media sites and conducting controlled online experiments to evaluate the effects of those labels
  • Designing, building, and analyzing the use of personal moderation tools. Exploring antecedents of support for platform-enacted moderation versus personal moderation tools
  • Understanding public librarians’ perspectives on content curation and moderation practices of large-scale digital distribution services
  • Evaluating the effects of offering post-removal explanations on social media platforms
  • Studying public perceptions of community-wide moderation interventions, including community bans and warning labels that precede community access.
  • Deriving empirical insights on the use of restorative justice practices to address online harassment
  • Analyzing how visual cultures such as memes contribute to political polarization on social media sites
  • Characterizing the landscape of multi-level governance structures in online social platforms, drawing from taxonomies of offline institutions, including federalism and polycentricity

People

Principal investigator: Shagun Jhaver

PhD student: Yunhee Shim

PhD semester project students: Matthew Ackerman, Kaitlin Montague, Manoel Horta Ribeiro (EPFL), and Sijia Xiao (UC Berkeley)

Masters students: Abhinay Mannepalli, Jordi Cluet i Martinell (EPFL), and Abhinay Reddy Vongur

Undergraduate students: Anish Gupta, Vincent Scaglione, and Alice Zhang (UMN)

Collaborators: Tawfiq Ammari (Rutgers), Eshwar Chandrasekharan (UIUC), Kiran Garimella (Rutgers), Sanjay Kairam (Reddit), Koustuv Saha (Microsoft Research), Niloufar Salehi (UC Berkeley), and Amy Zhang (UW).

Come work with us!

I am looking to accept 2-3 doctoral students starting Fall 2023. If you are a prospective PhD student interested in working with me, please apply to the Rutgers SCI PhD program and mention me in your application materials.

If you are a current PhD, Master’s, or undergraduate student at Rutgers interested in working with me, please email me (sj917 [at] rutgers [dot] edu) with your CV/resume and research interests. I use various methods in my research — interviews, surveys, online experiments, and large-scale data analyses. Please indicate your skills and experiences related to any of these methods.

I am particularly interested in working with students who want to work on the following:

  1. Any of the ongoing projects (listed above)
  2. Extending an ongoing project in the lab
  3. Exploring new ideas on the topic of content moderation or online harassment