Link to Conference Paper
Can drones be fully accepted as civic technologies? Are there values embodied by drones that undermine their ability to perform in a civic capacity? What design principles might make drones more civic? Where does responsibility lie between civil society actors, drone designers, and policymakers in pursuing this goal while balancing privacy, security, and innovation? Although drones have several proposed civic use cases, particularly involving practices described as monitorial citizenship, drones are different from other civic technologies. Civic technologies are about shifting power away from corrupt actors and toward virtuous actors. And a motivating concept and ethic for civic technologies, whether used for interacting with governments or against them, is participatory practice. If we aspire to a definition of civic action that is fundamentally participatory and we hope for our civic technologies to embody that value of participatory practice, we must investigate whether drones can be fully accepted as civic technologies. This paper will address these questions and issues, problematizing the use of drones for civic purposes by defining a set of values and design principles for civic technologies and by showing where drones may play a role, situating contemporary cases among relevant political and ethical questions.
To inform policy, curricula, and future research on cyberbullying through an exploration of the moral reasoning of digitally active 10–14-year olds (tweens) when witnesses to digital abuse.
Conducted interviews with 41 tweens, asking participants to react as witnesses to two hypothetical scenarios of digital abuse. Through thematic analysis of the interviews, I developed and applied a new typology for classifying “upstanders” and “bystanders” to cyberbullying.
Identified three types of upstander and five types of bystander, along with five thinking processes that led participants to react in those different ways. Upstanders were more likely than bystanders to think through a scenario using high-order moral reasoning processes like disinterested perspective-taking. Moral reasoning, emotions, and contextual factors, as well as participant gender and home school district, all appeared to play a role in determining how participants responded to cyberbullying scenarios.
Hypothetical scenarios posed in interviews cannot substitute for case studies of real events, but this qualitative analysis has produced a framework for classifying upstanding and bystanding behavior that can inform future studies and approaches to digital ethics education.
This study contributes to the literature on cyberbullying and moral reasoning through in-depth interviews with tweens that record the complexity and context-dependency of thinking processes like perspective-taking among an understudied but critical age group.
Researchers have tested a variety of personal informatics systems to encourage diversity in the political leaning, geography, and demographics of information sources, often with a belief in the normative value of exposure to diverse information sources. Methods attempted have included information labeling of media sources, personalized metrics of reading behavior, personalized visualization of social media behavior, recommendation systems, and social introductions. Although some of these systems demonstrate positive results for the metrics they define, substantial questions remain on the interpretation of these results and their implications for future design. We identify challenges in defining normative values of diversity, potential algorithmic exclusion for some groups, and the role of personal tracking as surveillance. Furthermore, we outline challenges for evaluating systems and defining the meaningful social impact for information diversity systems operating at scale.
This interactive workshop focuses on digital citizenship by focusing on the ethical dimensions of young people’s participation in new media environments, such as blogs, multiplayer games, and social networks like Facebook. Katie Davis and Erhardt Graeff, both researchers on the GoodPlay Project at Harvard’s Project Zero, will share relevant research findings; provide an overview of a digital ethics casebook developed for use in schools and other learning environments; and engage participants in a curricular activity aimed at cultivating ethical thinking among youth.
Research Assistant on a MacArthur Foundation-funded project studying the ethical character of tween’s activities in the new digital media, December 2009 – March 2012.
The GoodPlay Project at Project Zero
Details of Work
- Managed research study approval with local public school district administration
- Administered pre-interview surveys to tweens in three different public school districts, two online and one on paper
- Developed and implemented SurveyMonkey filter for selecting survey participants for interviews based on reported internet and cell phone use, balanced sample for gender and race/ethnicity
- Coordinated interviews with 43 tweens at their schools, two per participant
- Personally conducted interviews with 16 tweens, or 32 total interviews
- Coded half the interviews for instances relevant to the online ethical faultlines of “participation”, “credibility”, and “authorship/ownership”
- Wrote four coding memos dealing with aspects of cyberbullying
- Developed original research paper on cyberbullying, using ethical dilemmas posed in the interviews
Related Publications and Presentations
- Graeff, E. 2014. ‘Tweens, Cyberbullying, and Moral Reasoning: Separating the Upstanders from the Bystanders.’ In Robinson, L, Cotten, SR, & Schulz, J, eds., Doing and Being Digital: Mediated Childhoods, Volume 8: Emerald Studies in Media and Communication Communication and Information Technologies Annual. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
- Graeff, E. 2011. Tween’s Conceptions of Privacy Online: Implications for Educators, based on research by Davis, K & James, C. Presented at Facing History and Ourselves, Brookline, MA, Aug 1.
- Davis, K & Graeff, E. 2011. Cultivating Ethical Thinking among Digital Youth: Challenges and Opportunities. Workshop presented at the CCSR Spring Institute: Preparing Engaged Citizens, Boston University, Boston, MA, Apr 28.