Congratulations to Zainab Agha, Dr. Karla Badillo-Urquiola, and Dr. Pamela Wisniewski for getting their paper “Strike at the Root: Co-designing Real-Time Social Media Interventions for Adolescent Online Risk Prevention” accepted at CSCW 2023.
Strike at the Root: Co-designing Real-Time Social Media Interventions for Adolescent Online Risk Prevention
Abstract: Adolescent online safety researchers have emphasized the importance of moving beyond restrictive and privacy invasive approaches to online safety, towards resilience-based approaches for empowering teens to deal with online risks independently. Unfortunately, many of the existing online safety interventions are focused on parental mediation and not contextualized to teens’ personal experiences online; thus, they do not effectively cater to the unique needs of teens. To better understand how we might design online safety interventions that help teens deal with online risks, as well as when and how to intervene, we must include teens as partners in the design process and equip them with the skills needed to contribute equally to the design process. As such, we conducted User Experience (UX) bootcamps with 21 teens (ages 13-17) to first teach them important UX design skills using industry standard tools, so they could create storyboards for unsafe online interactions commonly experienced by teens and high-fidelity, interactive prototypes for dealing with these situations. Based on their storyboards, teens often encountered information breaches and sexual risks with strangers, as well as cyberbullying from acquaintances or friends. While teens often blocked or reported strangers, they struggled with responding to risks from friends or acquaintances, seeking advice from others on the best action to take. Importantly, teens did not find any of the existing ways for responding to these risks to be effective in keeping them safe. When asked to create their own design-based interventions, teens frequently envisioned “nudges” that occurred in real-time. Interestingly, teens more often designed for risk prevention (rather than risk coping) by focusing on nudging the risk perpetrator (rather than the victim) to rethink their actions, block harmful actions from occurring, or penalizing perpetrators for inappropriate behavior to prevent it from happening again in the future. Teens also designed personalized sensitivity filters to provide teens the ability to manage content they wanted to see online. Some teens also designed personalized nudges, so that teens could receive intelligent, guided advice from the platform that would help them know how to handle online risks themselves without intervention from their parents. Our findings highlight how teens want to address online risks “at the root” by putting the onus of risk prevention on those who perpetrate them – rather than on the victim. Our work is the first to leverage co-design with teens to develop novel online safety interventions that advocate for a paradigm shift from youth risk protection to promoting good digital citizenship.