6/18/19 Show feat. Dr. Nathan Matias on Improving Online Behavior

Featured image: The open-ended Reddit, the one-time “front page of the internet,” attracts a wealth of content. But its huge community often brings it in contact with the web’s dark side. (Courtesy Veronica Belmont)

Joining us this time is Dr. J. Nathan Matias, Assistant Professor at Cornell University and former Associate Research Scholar at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. Nathan focuses on the intersection of sociology, psychology and the internet, examining issues like online behavior, harassment, and the shaping of modern discourse by websites and their design choices. We talk through his research on Reddit’s /r/science subreddit, where Nathan and the site moderators encouraged welcoming behavior by including a small rule reminder for commenters. Plus: under the obligation to experiment, websites that manage what we see online ought to do tests to see how their choices affect our experience, and make their results public — taking the tools they use to make effective advertising and deploying them in our interest!

In other news: the hunt for ancient creatures in Burmese amber is enriching our understanding of ancient life, but it also funds unsafe, exploitative mining and the civil war in the area.

The playlist can be found at WPRB.com or below.

Screenshot from 2019-06-18 20-08-35

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