Internal Review: Ethical Concerns of C/D Testing by Private Companies

Introduction

 

A/B testing has long been a tactic for companies evaluatingtwo versions of a landing page, web page or mobile app feature” (Rawat). The most common A/B scenario involves changing aesthetic details like button size or graphics adjustments and deploying those changes among active users to test their effect. However, the ethical impropriety of major social networks exempt from the federal “common rule” have created a sinister perversion of the A/B test that is deeper, more deceptive, and reliant on implicit rather than informed consent.Continue Reading »

Anti-Social Media: Designing for Accountability

 

One of the key issues facing social media today is the prevalence of antisocial behavior. This makes user experience worse, and in many cases, it is the site’s design that unintentionally encourages this behavior.

What exactly do we mean by antisocial behavior? There are three key points that exemplify this issue:

  1. Dissuading users from connecting to people different than them
  2. Shielding users from disparate viewpoints
  3. Failing to prevent toxic in-groups and the spread of harassment

The problem is that most social media platforms currently operate using these strategies:

  1. They suggest friends/connections based on who you know.
Continue Reading »