Applied Research

I am an expert on global Trust & Safety research that identifies risks and informs product and policy decisions in the content moderation space. This work particularly focused on risks and equity concerns facing marginalized populations in the US and Global South. I am also passionate about applied research that shapes international aid and democracy promotion strategies, non-profit strategies, policy change or evaluation (particularly concerning technology and its impacts on society and social safety nets), electoral mobilization, and risks facing vulnerable populations in the private or public sectors. For an overview, see my portfolio here.

My trust and safety research in the social media space includes:

  • Violence and Incitement and Hate Speech: Survey and qualitative research on perceptions surrounding violence and incitement content, hate speech, and harassment designed to expand recall and/or precision.
  • Misinformationparticularly rumors targeting vulnerable populations and election misinformation (Covid misinformation, political misinformation, and misinformation related to accusations targeting vulnerable groups).
  • Conceptual Frameworks to Identify Risks in High-Risk Contexts: Develop taxonomies and conceptual framework to Identify risks and mitigation strategies in countries characterized by ethnic polarization, social and political violence, and political instability.
  • Human Rights and Social Media: My field research incorporated the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, and users (particularly from vulnerable populations) to shape company decisions that protect these users.
  • Global Research to Inform Communication and Design Strategies to Compliance: Understanding cross-country variation in institutional and company trust to shape messaging strategies.
  • My research shaped four large-scale and narrower policies in content moderation that expanded enforcement, improved global content moderation program accuracy and rigor, shaped the direction of research on high-risk elections and conflict regions, and guided global design strategies to explaining regulatory compliance efforts.
  • I also served as an internal expert/consultant on projects related to violent content and violence risk, social media elections risks, racial equity, video integrity, Responsible AI, and survey experiment design.

I am involved in applied research relevant to international development, democracy promotion, and elections.

  • Voter Engagement and Policy Feedback in the U.S. I am currently conducting a project with Community Change that employs qualitative research and survey experiments to understand the potential of environmental and other social policies to engage and mobilize low propensity voters. I am also involved in research designed to increase turnout in local and national elections with a focus on lower propensity voters and grassroots mobilization strategies.
  • Democracy Promotion Strategies. I am a member of the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) Rapid and Effective International Support for Governance Issues in Emerging Transitions (BUILD) working group where I focus on democratic transitions and strategies to bolster democratic actors in the digital space.
  • Advising Civil Society Organizations in the Global South on Online Risks and Mitigation Strategies. As a Senior Fellow at Tech Global Institute (TGI), I am advising CSOs in the global south on content harms and mitigation strategies during elections.

Methods

I have expertise in qualitative research, survey design and analysis, and experimentation.

Qualitative Methods

  • In Depth Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Elite Interviews (journalists, politicians, activists)
  • International fieldwork & research with marginalized/sensitive/risky populations
  • Content Analysis and Labeling Programs (Qualitative Assessment Based on Content Patterns)
  • Design Sprints (Leveraging research to shape design principles and international design strategies)
  • Literature Reviews (with Design, Strategy, and Policy Recommendations Based on External Research)
  • Trust and Safety Policy Development — including developing content rules, identifying policy gaps, and engaging with external stakeholders to identify and address policy gaps.

Quantitative Methods

  • Survey Sampling, Design, & Analysis
  • Survey Experiments
  • Evaluation of Labeling Programs — including surveys of content reviewers
  • Behavioral Measurement — including methods for revealing preferences on sensitive questions