'Popcorn Tastes Good': Participatory Policymaking and Reddit's 'Amageddon'
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16), San Jose, CA, May 7-12, 2016.
12 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016
Date Written: Sept 22, 2015
In human-computer interaction research and practice, policy concerns can sometimes fall to the margins, orbiting at the periphery of the traditionally core interests of design and practice. This perspective ignores the important ways that policy is bound up with the technical and behavioral elements of the HCI universe. Policy concerns are triggered as a matter of course in social computing, CSCW, systems engineering, UX, and related contexts because technological design, social practice and policy are dynamically entangled and mutually constitutive. Through this research, we demonstrate the value of a stronger emphasis on policy in HCI by exploring a recent controversy on Reddit: “AMAgeddon.” Applying Hirschman’s exit, voice and loyalty framework, we argue that the sustainability of online communities like Reddit will require successful navigation of the complex and often murky intersections among technical design and human interaction through a distributed participatory policymaking process that promotes user loyalty.
Keywords: Information policy, participatory policymaking, value sensitive design, social media, online communities
JEL Classification: O3, K11, D7
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