June 12, 2019

Request for proposals for economic opportunity research announced at ICWSM 2019

By: Facebook Research

This week, several Facebook researchers are gathering in Munich for the AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM). ICWSM provides a place where researchers from a diverse range of fields and disciplines can come together to share and discuss ideas, knowledge, and cutting-edge research pertaining to online social media.

Co-director of Core Data Science Lada Adamic delivered the keynote address on Wednesday, June 12, with a talk entitled “Reflections of Social Networks.” In this talk, Adamic describes two studies based on friendship ties on Facebook. In the first, aggregate county-to-county ties in the United States tell of geographical distance and also of characteristics of the counties and past migrations between them. In the second, she shows how college social networks take shape, a process influenced by college type and the seasonality of academic life.

Economic opportunity and digital platforms request for proposals

During her keynote, Adamic also announced the launch of a new research award opportunity, the Economic Opportunity and Digital Platforms request for proposals.

Part of Facebook’s mission is to empower individuals to build community and to ensure that these communities create opportunity for everyone. The goal of the Economic Opportunity and Digital Platforms RFP is to enable research into how (and whether) the digital economy and online platforms create opportunity and encourage social mobility, as well as to identify and address inequalities in opportunity in the United States.

Topics of interest for this RFP include but are not limited to:

  • Economic opportunity, social mobility, and income inequality: The role of digital platforms in economic opportunity, social mobility, income inequality, and the impact of inequality on people and communities.
  • Digital skills training and job finding: The impact and effectiveness of digital skills training and job-finding platforms.
  • Small businesses and online tools: The use of online tools by entrepreneurs and small businesses to create and grow their businesses.
  • Inequalities in digital access: What populations or groups lack access to connectivity, digital skills, or the digital economy.

For more information regarding eligibility and application requirements, visit the RFP landing page.

Other presentations at ICWSM 2019

Research Manager Jessica Bodford also delivered a paper presentation on her co-authored paper “I just want to feel safe”: A Diary Study of Safety Perceptions on Social Media during the paper session “Science of Hate.” Read the abstract below to learn more.

“I just want to feel safe”: A Diary Study of Safety Perceptions on Social Media

Elissa M. Redmiles, Jessica Bodford, and Lindsay Blackwell

Abstract: Social media can increase social capital, provide entertainment, and enable meaningful discourse. However, threats to safety experienced on social media platforms can inhibit users’ ability to gain these benefits. Threats to safety – whether real or perceived – detract from the pleasure people get out of their online interactions and damage the quality of online social spaces. While prior work has individually explored specific threats to safety – privacy, security, harassment – in this work we more broadly capture and characterize the full breadth of day-to-day experiences that influence users’ overall perceptions of safety on social media. We explore these perceptions through a three-week diary study (n=39). We contribute a novel, multidimensional taxonomy of how social media users define “safety,” centered around security, privacy, and community. We conclude with a discussion of how safety perceptions can be used as a metric for social media quality, and detail the potential for enhancing safety perception through community-enhancing affordances and algorithmic transparency.

To read more about this paper, visit our blog.