photo of Jane smiling

My research aims to design safe social computing systems, such as social media and workplace software, by centering users’ consent. I focus on the insight that problems on social computing systems—that range from interpersonal ones (e.g., online harassment) to institutional privacy issues (e.g., platform companies' surveillance)—arise because software is designed without considering users’ consent boundaries and power dynamics, in both user-to-user and user-to-company contexts. To reimagine social software that people can use with enthusiastic consent, I combine systems-building and empirical studies (e.g., experiment, field deployment), to design and evaluate systems’ privacy controls and governance tools. In another line of work, I started to research ways to rethink social platforms’ business models because they are inseparable from how social software is built and maintained. My research interests are at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Social Computing, Privacy, Feminist Studies, and Business Management. I like interdisciplinary work.

I am a Ph.D. candidate and Barbour Scholar at the University of Michigan School of Information and the Division of Computer Science & Engineering. I am very lucky to be advised by Dr. Florian Schaub (from the Security Privacy Interaction Lab) and Dr. Nikola Banovic (from the Computational HCI Lab). I am also part of the Human-Centered Computing Lab.

  • Below is a list of recent updates, which admittedly focuses on the good news. I think it's important to share bad news as well, to normalize struggles, vulnerabilities, rejections, and failures. While it's far from perfect, you can glimpse more of my honest thoughts on the Thoughts page (I keep a private research log and diary where I record my thoughts about PhD and academia, but I sometimes share a very tiny slice of them there). If you're a student who wants to discuss struggles in academia, please don't hesitate to reach out. Senior and fellow PhD students helped me tremendously when I felt the most devastated during my PhD, and I want to pay it forward.
  • 03/10/2023: In March, I am giving a talk at CMU's Current Topics in Privacy Seminar and also at a panel organized by Yale Law School's Social Media Governance Initiative.
  • 01/13/2023: Our paper on improving online behavioral advertisement controls' findability and studying findable controls' impact on users got conditionally accepted to CHI 2023. Huge thanks to my collaborators!
  • See all updates.

Selected First Author Publications

Less is Not More: Improving Findability and Actionability of Privacy Controls for Online Behavioral Advertising
Jane Im, Ruiyi Wang, Weikun Lyu, Nick Cook, Hana Habib, Lorrie Cranor, Nikola Banovic, Florian Schaub
CHI 2023

Yes: Affirmative Consent as a Theoretical Framework for Understanding and Imagining Social Platforms
Jane Im, Jill Dimond, Melody Berton, Una Lee, Katherine Mustelier, Mark Ackerman, Eric Gilbert
CHI 2021 Best Paper Honorable Mention

Other Publications

Wisdom of Two Crowds: Current Practices of Misinformation Moderation on Reddit and How to Improve this Process-A Case Study of COVID-19
Lia Bozarth, Jane Im, Christopher Quarles, Ceren Budak
CSCW 2023

Solving Separation-of-Concerns Problems in Collaborative Design of Human-AI Systems through Leaky Abstractions
Hariharan Subramonyam, Jane Im, Colleen Seifert, Eytan Adar
CHI 2022

Women’s Perspectives on Harm and Justice after Online Harassment
Jane Im, Sarita Schoenebeck, Marilyn Iriarte, Gabriel Grill, Daricia Wilkinson, Amna Batool, Rahaf Alharbi, Audrey N. Funwie, Tergel Gankhuu, Eric Gilbert, Mustafa Naseem
CSCW 2022

Informed Crowds Can Effectively Identify Misinformation
Paul Resnick, Aljohara Alfayez, Jane Im, Eric Gilbert
arXiv 2021

Synthesized Social Signals: Computationally-Derived Social Signals from Account Histories
Jane Im, Sonali Tandon, Eshwar Chandrasekharan, Taylor Denby, Eric Gilbert
CHI 2020

Still Out There: Modeling and Identifying Russian Troll Accounts on Twitter
Jane Im, Eshwar Chandrasekharan, Jackson Sargent, Paige Lighthammer, Taylor Denby, Ankit Bhargava, Libby Hemphill, David Jurgens, Eric Gilbert
WebSci 2020 Best Paper Runner Up Award

Deliberation and Resolution on Wikipedia: A Case Study of Requests for Comments
Jane Im, Amy X Zhang, Christopher J Schilling, David Karger
CSCW 2018

App Inventor VR Editor for Computational Thinking
Jane Im, Paul Medlock-Walton, Mike Tissenbaum
CTE 2017

Non-publication projects

Customized blocks in MIT App Inventor
I implemented a new feature called “user-defined blocks (customizable blocks)” into MIT App Inventor, an open source web platform that lets users build their own Android Apps quickly by using blocks-based programming.
I became interested into the system-building aspect of HCI through this project.
final report - slides - demo

This site is made by Jane Im, code here. Last updated 03/25/2023