Kate Starbird

Summer 2020

Exposing trails of misinformation: How did this content reach me?

Note: This DRG is at capacity and no longer accepting applications for Summer 2020.

We are looking for students to join our summer 2020 quarter Directed Research Group (research for credit) to investigate solutions for improving the quality of online participation. In particular, we will explore whether providing contextual details about the content you see (e.g. information about the other accounts that have shared it) affects your decision to re-post information. Our study looks specifically at information sharing on Twitter. 

We will ask the following questions:

  • What informational cues about a piece of online account are important to a user’s decision to share content?
  • How can we design new contextual cues about other accounts to better inform a user about who those accounts are and what they are sharing?
  • How do these new contextual cues impact the perceived trustworthiness of the information and the other accounts that have shared it?
  • Can providing these cues for online accounts that previously shared a piece of information alter users’ decisions about whether and how to reshare it?

As a part of the research process, we will be designing interventions with informational cues that we find are important to information sharing on Twitter. We will then study the effectiveness of these interventions — using both qualitative and quantitative methods — and refine the interventions accordingly. The findings will inform the design of social media platforms that make it easy for users to discern which information is worth sharing, and which is not.

What makes you a suitable candidate? 

  • Knowledge of some user-interface prototyping tools like Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD
  • Experience with user research and facilitating user studies
  • Users of Twitter platform (not necessary, but preferred)
  • Looking to register for 2-3 credits (i.e. 4-6 hours of weekly work)

The group will be facilitated by PhD candidate Himanshu Zade (himanz at uw dot edu) with guidance from Prof. Kate Starbird and Prof. Gary Hsieh. Meeting time is TBD.

Note: This DRG is at capacity and no longer accepting applications for Summer 2020.

Dr. Starbird's Research Group archive