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  1. Shortcomings of current models of moderation have driven policy makers, scholars, and technologists to speculate about alternative models of content moderation. While alternative models provide hope for the future of online spaces, they can fail without proper scaffolding. Community moderators are routinely confronted with similar issues and have therefore found creative ways to navigate these challenges. Learning more about the decisions these moderators make, the challenges they face, and where they are successful can provide valuable insight into how to ensure alternative moderation models are successful.

    In this study, I perform a collaborative ethnography with moderators of r/AskHistorians, a community that uses an alternative moderation model, highlighting the importance of accounting for power in moderation. Drawing from Black feminist theory, I call this intersectional moderation. I focus on three controversies emblematic of r/AskHistorians' alternative model of moderation: a disagreement over a moderation decision; a collaboration to fight racism on Reddit; and a period of intense turmoil and its impact on policy. Through this evidence I show how volunteer moderators navigated multiple layers of power through care work. To ensure the successful implementation of intersectional moderation, I argue that designers should support decision-making processes and policy makers should account for the impact of the sociotechnical systems in which moderators work. 

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2024
  2. Social media provides unique opportunities for researchers to learn about a variety of phenomena—it is often publicly available, highly accessible, and affords more naturalistic observation. However, as research using social media data has increased, so too has public scrutiny, highlighting the need to develop ethical approaches to social media data use. Prior work in this area has explored users’ perceptions of researchers’ use of social media data in the context of a single platform. In this paper, we expand on that work, exploring how platforms and their affordances impact how users feel about social media data reuse. We present results from three factorial vignette surveys, each focusing on a different platform—dating apps, Instagram, and Reddit—to assess users’ comfort with research data use scenarios across a variety of contexts. Although our results highlight different expectations between platforms depending on the research domain, purpose of research, and content collected, we find that the factor with the greatest impact across all platforms is consent—a finding which presents challenges for big data researchers. We conclude by offering a sociotechnical approach to ethical decision-making. This approach provides recommendations on how researchers can interpret and respond to platform norms and affordances to predict potential data use sensitivities. The approach also recommends that researchers respond to the predominant expectation of notification and consent for research participation by bolstering awareness of data collection on digital platforms. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Research using online datasets from social media platforms continues to grow in prominence, but recent research suggests that platform users are sometimes uncomfortable with the ways their posts and content are used in research studies. While previous research has suggested that a variety of contextual variables may influence this discomfort, such factors have yet to be isolated and compared. In this article, we present results from a factorial vignette survey of American Facebook users. Findings reveal that researcher domain, content type, purpose of data use, and awareness of data collection all impact respondents’ comfort—measured via judgments of acceptability and concern—with diverse data uses. We provide guidance to researchers and ethics review boards about the ways that user reactions to research uses of their data can serve as a cue for identifying sensitive data types and uses. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    This article offers a systematic analysis of 727 manuscripts that used Reddit as a data source, published between 2010 and 2020. Our analysis reveals the increasing growth in use of Reddit as a data source, the range of disciplines this research is occurring in, how researchers are getting access to Reddit data, the characteristics of the datasets researchers are using, the subreddits and topics being studied, the kinds of analysis and methods researchers are engaging in, and the emerging ethical questions of research in this space. We discuss how researchers need to consider the impact of Reddit’s algorithms, affordances, and generalizability of the scientific knowledge produced using Reddit data, as well as the potential ethical dimensions of research that draws data from subreddits with potentially sensitive populations. 
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  5. Frequent public uproar over forms of data science that rely on information about people demonstrates the challenges of defining and demonstrating trustworthy digital data research practices. This paper reviews problems of trustworthiness in what we term pervasive data research: scholarship that relies on the rich information generated about people through digital interaction. We highlight the entwined problems of participant unawareness of such research and the relationship of pervasive data research to corporate datafication and surveillance. We suggest a way forward by drawing from the history of a different methodological approach in which researchers have struggled with trustworthy practice: ethnography. To grapple with the colonial legacy of their methods, ethnographers have developed analytic lenses and researcher practices that foreground relations of awareness and power. These lenses are inspiring but also challenging for pervasive data research, given the flattening of contexts inherent in digital data collection. We propose ways that pervasive data researchers can incorporate reflection on awareness and power within their research to support the development of trustworthy data science. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Methodological advances over the past two decades have propelled plant microbiome research, allowing the field to comprehensively test ideas proposed over a century ago and generate many new hypotheses. Studying the distribution of microbial taxa and genes across plant habitats has revealed the importance of various ecological and evolutionary forces shaping plant microbiota. In particular, selection imposed by plant habitats strongly shapes the diversity and composition of microbiota and leads to microbial adaptation associated with navigating the plant immune system and utilizing plant-derived resources. Reductionist approaches have demonstrated that the interaction between plant immunity and the plant microbiome is, in fact, bidirectional and that plants, microbiota, and the environment shape a complex chemical dialogue that collectively orchestrates the plantmicrobiome. The next stage in plant microbiome research will require the integration of ecological and reductionist approaches to establish a general understanding of the assembly and function in both natural and managed environments. 
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  7. Plants have an innate immune system to fight off potential invaders that is based on the perception of nonself or modified-self molecules. Microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) are evolutionarily conserved microbial molecules whose extracellular detection by specific cell surface receptors initiates an array of biochemical responses collectively known as MAMP-triggered immunity (MTI). Well-characterized MAMPs include chitin, peptidoglycan, and flg22, a 22-amino acid epitope found in the major building block of the bacterial flagellum, FliC. The importance of MAMP detection by the plant immune system is underscored by the large diversity of strategies used by pathogens to interfere with MTI and that failure to do so is often associated with loss of virulence. Yet, whether or how MTI functions beyond pathogenic interactions is not well understood. Here we demonstrate that a community of root commensal bacteria modulates a specific and evolutionarily conserved sector of theArabidopsisimmune system. We identify a set of robust, taxonomically diverse MTI suppressor strains that are efficient root colonizers and, notably, can enhance the colonization capacity of other tested commensal bacteria. We highlight the importance of extracellular strategies for MTI suppression by showing that the type 2, not the type 3, secretion system is required for the immunomodulatory activity of one robust MTI suppressor. Our findings reveal that root colonization by commensals is controlled by MTI, which, in turn, can be selectively modulated by specific members of a representative bacterial root microbiota.

     
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  8. Summary

    Spirodela polyrhizais a fast‐growing aquatic monocot with highly reduced morphology, genome size and number of protein‐coding genes. Considering these biological features of Spirodela and its basal position in the monocot lineage, understanding its genome architecture could shed light on plant adaptation and genome evolution. Like many draft genomes, however, the 158‐Mb Spirodela genome sequence has not been resolved to chromosomes, and important genome characteristics have not been defined. Here we deployed rapid genome‐wide physical maps combined with high‐coverage short‐read sequencing to resolve the 20 chromosomes of Spirodela and to empirically delineate its genome features. Our data revealed a dramatic reduction in the number of therDNArepeat units in Spirodela to fewer than 100, which is even fewer than that reported for yeast. Consistent with its unique phylogenetic position, smallRNAsequencing revealed 29 Spirodela‐specific microRNA, with only two being shared withElaeis guineensis(oil palm) andMusa balbisiana(banana). CombiningDNAmethylation data and smallRNAsequencing enabled the accurate prediction of 20.5% long terminal repeats (LTRs) that doubled the previous estimate, and revealed a high Solo:IntactLTRratio of 8.2. Interestingly, we found that Spirodela has the lowest globalDNAmethylation levels (9%) of any plant species tested. Taken together our results reveal a genome that has undergone reduction, likely through eliminating non‐essential protein coding genes,rDNAandLTRs. In addition to delineating the genome features of this unique plant, the methodologies described and large‐scale genome resources from this work will enable future evolutionary and functional studies of this basal monocot family.

     
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