Presenting at HyperText 2020

HyperText Conference 2020 took place virtually over moderated zoom calls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper “The ‘Fairness Doctrine’ lives on? Theorizing about the Algorithmic News Curation of Google’s Top Stories” written by Anna Kawakami, Khonzodakhon Umarova, Dongchen Huang and Eni Mustafaraj was presented. Click here to read more about their paper presented on the conference’s website.

Edit-A-Thon 2020

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world still find a way to connect for the highly anticipated annual event: Edit-A-Thon.

As of July 13, there were: 15 articles created, 169 articles edited, 847 edits, 140 editors, 54.7k words added, 719 references, 20.4k article views. How outstanding!

SACNAS X 500 Women Scientists hosted the annual Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon, which took place over Zoom on July 12, 2020. People from all over the world, from Brazil to Japan, participated in this event with over 140 editors. This event truly highlights that Wikipedia is a global powerhouse for learning in the digital landscape for all Internet users. Although Wikipedia is the 5th most popular website worldwide, only 18.2% of its English biographies are about women. The purpose of this event was to create, modify, and translate pages women and non-binary people of color leading the way in STEM fields to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the interwebs.

To expand Cred Lab’s outreach efforts, we promoted the event to the Class of 2024 via social media platforms and emails. It was simply amazing that quite a few incoming first-year students were interested in participating, even though they have never made a Wikipedia account before and haven’t set foot on Wellesley’s campus yet. Cred Lab focused on creating and modifying articles of our notable Wellesley alumnae who made significant contributions in the STEM field.

This is a list of Wellesley participants and the respective alumnae they worked on:

Michaella Henry ’21 on Black Lives Matter on Medium

Black Lives Matter! In the past two weeks we have seen a marked increase of American public interest in the BLM movement, corresponding to the recent killing of black men. Our lab member, Michaella Henry ‘21, who is herself Black, wrote a moving piece titled “Anything While Black: Experiencing America’s Quiet Genocide” on Medium. Her piece was chosen to be part of the first issue of Medium’s new blob, Momentum, a blog about the fight against anti-Black racism.

We are proud of Michaella and stand in solidarity with her in our support of the Black Lives Matter movement for transforming our country by eradicating systemic racism.

CredLab Work Presented at the 14th ICWSM Conference

Our dataset paper, The Media Coverage of the 2020 US Presidential Election Candidates through the Lens of Google’s Top Stories, was presented by Anna Kawakami ‘21 on the first second day of the ICWSM 2020 conference. Given that the conference was virtual, Anna created a short video presentation.

Meanwhile, Prof. Mustafaraj presented some in-progress work at the 4th International Workshop on News and Public Opinion, titled “Google’s Top Stories and the Fairness Doctrine”. Here is the extended abstract that will be published as part of the ICWSM workshop proceedings.

Introducing our Summer 2020 Research Fellows

This summer we cannot be on campus due to the shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, some members of the lab are still doing research remotely.

Junita Sirait ‘22 (who started in the lab in September 2019 as a SERP fellow) is currently in Indonesia. She is building an interactive website for exploring our Google Top stories about the 2020 election.

Mackenzie Weatherly ‘22 (who started in the lab in December 2019) is currently in Chicago, IL. Mackenzie is working with Prof. Mustafaraj in understanding and categorizing how misinformation experts use their Twitter presence to talk about misinformation.

Jessi Kim ‘23 – Jessi is our newest member of the lab, starting today. Jessi will be in charge of completely redesigning our lab website and our outreach website on web literacy. Welcome Jessi!

Sophia Piper (Marblehead High School) – Sophia has been shadowing the lab since Spring 2020. She is learning to work with the Twitter API to collect data that will help with our misinformation project.

All lab members will report at the end of the summer about what they accomplished.

Two Honor Theses From Our Lab Members

Our seniors, Khonzoda Umarova ‘20 and Annabel Rothschild ‘20, successfully defended their honors theses this week.

Umarova wrote her thesis with Prof. Mustafaraj, titled “Where Political News and Algorithms meet: A longitudinal audit of Google’s Top Stories”. Read her thesis in the Wellesley College Digital Repository or in the link here.

Rothschild wrote her thesis with Professor Ada Lerner, titled “Proactive Protections for Smartphone Users’ Personal Data in the Mobile Ecosystem”.

Due to Covid-19, both defenses took place via Zoom. See below the moments captured on the computer camera:

Khonzoda’s Defense

Annabel’s Defense

Visit from Catherine D’Ignazio

Catherine D’Ignazio, one of the co-authors of the book Data Feminism, came to visit Wellesley. Catherine first met with some Wellesley faculty to discuss issues at the intersection of data science and feminism. Then, she gave a lecture to a joint session of CS 232 Artificial Intelligence (taught by Prof. Mustafaraj) and PHIL 222 Ethics of Technology (taught by Prof. Walsh). Cred Lab members discussed the book for the first time in February 2019, one year before its publication date.