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Creators/Authors contains: "Wohn, Donghee Yvette"

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  1. As each micro community centered around the streamer attempts to set its own guidelines in live streaming communities, it is common for volunteer moderators (mods) and the streamer to disagree on how to handle various situations. In this study, we conducted an online survey (N=240) with live streaming mods to explore their commitment to the streamer to grow the micro community and the different styles in which they handle conflicts with the streamer. We found that 1) mods apply more active and cooperative styles than passive and assertive styles to manage conflicts, but they might be forced to do so, and 2) mods with strong commitments to the streamer would like to apply styles showing either high concerns for the streamer or low concerns for themselves. We reflect on how these results can affect micro community development and recommend designs to mitigate conflict and strengthen commitment. 
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  2. Content moderation is a crucial aspect of online platforms, and it requires human moderators (mods) to repeatedly review and remove harmful content. However, this moderation process can lead to cognitive overload and emotional labor for the mods. As new platforms and designs emerge, such as live streaming space, new challenges arise due to the real-time nature of the interactions. In this study, we examined the use of ignoring as a moderation strategy by interviewing 19 Twitch mods. Our findings indicated that ignoring involves complex cognitive processes and significant invisible labor in the decision-making process. Additionally, we found that ignoring is an essential component of real-time moderation. These preliminary findings suggest that ignoring has the potential to be a valuable moderation strategy in future interactive systems, which highlights the need to design better support for ignoring in interactive live-streaming systems. 
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  3. When people have the freedom to create and post content on the internet, particularly anonymously, they do not always respect the rules and regulations of the websites on which they post, leaving other unsuspecting users vulnerable to sexism, racism, threats, and other unacceptable content in their daily cyberspace diet. However, content moderators witness the worst of humanity on a daily basis in place of the average netizen. This takes its toll on moderators, causing stress, fatigue, and emotional distress akin to the symptomology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of the present study was to explore whether adding positive stimuli to breaktimes-images of baby animals or beautiful, aweinspiring landscapes-could help reduce the negative side-effects of being a content moderator. To test this, we had over 300 experienced content moderators read and decide whether 200 fake text-based social media posts were acceptable or not for public consumption. Although we set out to test positive emotional stimulation, however, we actually found that it is the cumulative nature of the negative emotions that likely negates most of the effects of the intervention: the longer the person had practiced content moderation, the stronger their negative experience. Connections to compassion fatigue and how best to spend work breaks as a content moderator are discussed. 
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  4. Volunteer moderators (mods) play significant roles in developing moderation standards and dealing with harmful content in their micro-communities. However, little work explores how volunteer mods work as a team. In line with prior work about understanding volunteer moderation, we interview 40 volunteer mods on Twitch — a leading live streaming platform. We identify how mods collaborate on tasks (off-streaming coordination and preparation, in-stream real-time collaboration, and relationship building both off-stream and in-stream to reinforce collaboration) and how mods contribute to moderation standards (collaboratively working on the community rulebook and individually shaping community norms). We uncover how volunteer mods work as an effective team. We also discuss how the affordances of multi-modal communication and informality of volunteer moderation contribute to task collaboration, standards development, and mod’s roles and responsibilities. 
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  5. Content moderation is an essential part of online community health and governance. While much of extant research is centered on what happens to the content, moderation also involves the management of violators. This study focuses on how moderators (mods) make decisions about their actions after the violation takes place but before the sanction by examining how they "profile" the violators. Through observations and interviews with volunteer mods on Twitch, we found that mods engage in a complex process of collaborative evidence collection and profile violators into different categories to decide the type and extent of punishment. Mods consider violators' characteristics as well as behavioral history and violation context before taking moderation action. The main purpose of the profiling was to avoid excessive punishment and aim to integrate violators more into the community. We discuss the contributions of profiling to moderation practice and suggest design mechanisms to facilitate mods' profiling processes. 
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  6. Live streaming is a form of media that allows streamers to directly interact with their audience. Previous research has explored mental health, and live streaming platforms, and users' social motivations behind watching live streams separately. However, few have explored how these all intertwine in conversations involving intimate, self-disclosing topics, such as mental health. Live streams are unique in that they are largely masspersonal in nature; streamers broadcast themselves to mostly unknown viewers, but may choose to interact with them in a personal way. This study aims to understand users' motivations, preferences, and habits behind participating in mental health discussions on live streams. We interviewed 25 Twitch viewers about the streamers they watch, how they interact in mental health discussions, and how they believe streamers should discuss mental health on live streams. Our findings are contextualized in the dynamics in which these discussions occur. Overall, we found that the innate design of the Twitch platform promotes a user-hierarchy in the ecosystem of streamers and their communities, which may affect how mental health is discussed. 
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    The digital patronage model provides content creators the opportunity to receive sustained financial support directly from their fans. Patreon is a popular digital patronage platform that represents a prime site for the study of creators’ relational labor with their fans. Through in-depth interviews with 21 Patreon creators, this study investigated different types of creator–patron relationships and the perceived benefits and challenges of carrying out relational labor. We found that creators construct a variety of relationships with patrons, ranging from purely transactional to intimately familial. Creators benefit from relational labor in that it encourages patrons to treat the creator as a person rather than a product, resulting in both financial and emotional support. However, creators face difficulties in maintaining appropriate relational boundaries with patrons, some of whom control a substantial part of a creator’s income. 
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    Volunteer moderators actively engage in online content management, such as removing toxic content and sanctioning anti-normative behaviors in user-governed communities. The synchronicity and ephemerality of live-streaming communities pose unique moderation challenges. Based on interviews with 21 volunteer moderators on Twitch, we mapped out 13 moderation strategies and presented them in relation to the bad act, enabling us to categorize from proactive and reactive perspectives and identify communicative and technical interventions. We found that the act of moderation involves highly visible and performative activities in the chat and invisible activities involving coordination and sanction. The juxtaposition of real-time individual decision-making with collaborative discussions and the dual nature of visible and invisible activities of moderators provide a unique lens into a role that relies heavily on both the social and technical. We also discuss how the affordances of live-streaming contribute to these unique activities. 
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    Rules and norms are critical to community governance. Live streaming communities like Twitch consist of thousands of micro-communities called channels. We conducted two studies to understand the micro-community rules. Study one suggests that Twitch users perceive that both rules transparency and communication frequency matter to channel vibe and frequency of harassment. Study two finds that the most popular channels have no channel or chat rules; among these having rules, rules encouraged by streamers are prominent. We explain why this may happen and how this contributes to community moderation and future research. 
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