I design and build social computing systems (e.g., social media, workplace software) that are grounded in affirmative consent, an idea that a person or a system must ask for, and earn, enthusiastic approval before interacting with an individual. Existing social platforms enable or exacerbate two classes of problems that negatively impact society: 1) interpersonal harm people cause one another, such as online harassment, and 2) institutional exploitation of users, such as companies’ invasive data tracking of users. Both are closely related to people’s consent (e.g., "Do I decide to interact with this person online?", "Do I opt into tracking for targeted ads?"). Thus, consent is an important concept to define for software design. In particular, it is critical to define it in a way so that marginalized groups' consent boundaries are protected. My research provides theoretical ideas about defining affirmative consent and encoding it into software. Based on the ideas, I build systems to enable consentful interactions—especially in high-risk contexts (e.g., abuse of power in organizations). And because there is a power imbalance between companies and users, I design interfaces to give users more agency. I am also interested in studying how users perceive social media’s business models, which are a basis for companies’ power.
I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information and Department of Computer Science & Engineering, where I am advised by Kentaro Toyama. I am a Barbour Scholar and a Meta Research PhD Fellow (selected on my fourth try ;-]) and was also selected as an EECS Rising Star. My PhD research gave practical help to founders of new social media, and my internship research impacted Meta's privacy strategy.