Publication

FollowBias: Supporting Behavior Change Toward Gender Equality by Networked Gatekeepers on Social Media

Matias, J. N., Szalavitz, S., Zuckerman, E. FollowBias: Supporting Behavior Change Toward Gender Equality by Networked Gatekeepers on Social Media. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. ACM

Abstract

Networked gatekeepers on social media increasingly influence

which people and groups receive media attention. Many

unknowingly direct much greater attention to men than to

women. Can technologies support these gatekeepers to follow

their own values of equality? Theories of value consistency

suggest that confronting people with inconsistencies between

values and behavior prompts behavior change. In this paper,

we introduce FollowBias, a novel system that offers feedback

on the percentage of women that users follow on Twitter.

We conduct field deployments of FollowBias with 61 and 78

participants, exploring differences between their values and

behavior, their explanations of those differences, and their

changes in behavior. In the first, FollowBias users had a 45

percentage point greater chance of increasing the percentage

of women followed over one week. In the second, we fail to

find an effect. We also offer findings on political and ethical

trade-offs in designing systems for behavior change toward

equality.

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