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Encouraging Diversity- and Representation-
Awareness in Geographically Centralized
Content
Eduardo Graells-Garrido / Telef...
Twitter is global.
But we also know that there are cognitive and systemic biases that shape the
behavior of users.
What is...
Our context: Chile, a
centralized country.
Economic/political/media
powers are concentrated in
Santiago (the capital).
Reg...
Research Questions
Does centralization affect how people
perceive information, and how people behave
when browsing informa...
Our Proposal
To find if centralization affects how people perceive timelines, create a
geographically diverse timeline.
● ...
(for detailed results on all variables
see the paper)
Being from a central or peripheral
location makes a difference.
For ...
Users do not see the diversity
in the timelines
because they cannot identify
themselves (in the location
sense), even thou...
Previous work indicates that clustered representations help users to become aware of
the diversity in news aggregators.
We...
Inspired by newsmap.jp, we use treemaps to depict differences in a tweet’s
geographical origin, as well as giving every lo...
“In the wild” study
Purpose - to evaluate user
involvement with the application as
proxy of diversity and representation
a...
Experimental Setup
Between-subjects design.
N = 321 (RM = 193, NOT-RM = 128)
Negative Binomial and Logistic Regressions
Ma...
Discussion / What To Take Away
Centralization has effects on information perception and user
behavior.
Algorithms are not ...
Final Words
Not every culture has the same notion of
relevance and importance in content. Even
within a country there are ...
Thank you!
Do you have any questions?
Contact Us:
eduardo.graells@telefonica.com
@carnby
Reproduce Our Experiments!
The so...
Background
Presentation of Diversified Information (in biased scenarios)
- [Park et al., 2009] NewsCube - clustered repres...
Our context: Chile, a
centralized country.
Economic/political/media
powers are concentrated in
Santiago (the capital).
Reg...
This affects Web users as content is not geographically diverse (mostly related to/from
Santiago). Content from other loca...
Encouraging Diversity- and Representation-Awareness in Geographically Centralized Content
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Encouraging Diversity- and Representation-Awareness in Geographically Centralized Content

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In centralized countries, not only population, media and economic power are concentrated, but people give more attention to central locations. \ While this is not inherently bad, this behavior extends to micro-blogging platforms: central locations get more attention in terms of information flow. \ In this paper we study the effects of an information filtering algorithm that decentralizes content in such platforms. \ Particularly, we found that users from non-central locations were not able to identify the geographical diversity on timelines generated by the algorithm, which were diverse by construction. \ To make users see the inherent diversity, we define a design rationale to approach this problem, focused on the treemap visualization technique. \ Then, we deployed an ``in the wild'' implementation of our proposed system. On one hand, we found that there are effects of centralization in exploratory user behavior. On the other hand, we found that the treemap was able to make users see the inherent geographical diversity of timelines. We measured these effects based on how users engaged with content filtered by the algorithm. \ With these results in mind, we propose practical actions for micro-blogging platforms to account for the differences and biased behavior induced by centralization.

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Encouraging Diversity- and Representation-Awareness in Geographically Centralized Content

  1. 1. Encouraging Diversity- and Representation- Awareness in Geographically Centralized Content Eduardo Graells-Garrido / Telefónica R&D Chile Mounia Lalmas / Yahoo, UK Ricardo Baeza-Yates / UPF, Catalonia / Univ. Of Chile “Las cuatro reinas de Chile” Ian Pierce, 2014
  2. 2. Twitter is global. But we also know that there are cognitive and systemic biases that shape the behavior of users. What is the effect of those biases and what can we do about it? Leetaru et al., 2013.
  3. 3. Our context: Chile, a centralized country. Economic/political/media powers are concentrated in Santiago (the capital). Región Metropolitana (RM) is the capital region. Twitter activity is centralized - RM receives more tweets from other locations than expected due to population distribution.
  4. 4. Research Questions Does centralization affect how people perceive information, and how people behave when browsing informational content in micro-blogging platforms? If so, how can we encourage non-centralized exploration?
  5. 5. Our Proposal To find if centralization affects how people perceive timelines, create a geographically diverse timeline. ● Proposed Method “PM”: Information Entropy + Sidelines (enforces location). ● Baseline “DIV”: Information Entropy only. ● Baseline “POP”: Most popular tweets (mostly tweets from Santiago/RM). After reading timelines side-by-side, which one is more: - diverse? - interesting? - informative? Participants answered using a Likert scale from -3 to 3.
  6. 6. (for detailed results on all variables see the paper) Being from a central or peripheral location makes a difference. For peripheral/NOT-RM users, there was no perception of the diversity present by design on the algorithm! Experimental Setup Snowball Sampling Within-subjects N = 125 (RM = 87, NOT-RM = 38) Ordinal Logistic Regression Model includes statistical interactions Main Result Statistical interaction between location and condition POP/PM. RM participants find PM more diverse than POP (OR = 3.17). NOT-RM do not.
  7. 7. Users do not see the diversity in the timelines because they cannot identify themselves (in the location sense), even though they are present. There is a diversity and representation awareness problem. How to make users aware of their representation in the timeline, as well as the diversity inherent in it?
  8. 8. Previous work indicates that clustered representations help users to become aware of the diversity in news aggregators. We follow that approach. But in previous work the number of clusters has been small - 2 or 3. In our case, we have 15 clusters! How to depict 15 clusters without introducing positional bias on the screen? Clustered Tweets by Location Standalone Tweets
  9. 9. Inspired by newsmap.jp, we use treemaps to depict differences in a tweet’s geographical origin, as well as giving every location a balanced amount of exposure. We also allow users to filter locations by selecting a specific region. Doing so will show only tweets about the specified location.
  10. 10. “In the wild” study Purpose - to evaluate user involvement with the application as proxy of diversity and representation awareness. Diversity - do users click on content related to different locations? Representation - do users choose to see only their location using the filters? Interestingness - how many interactions with content do users make? We used a social bot (@todocl) to generate timelines every hour and broadcast them, mentioning featured users, and retweeting their tweets. This allowed us to get users and spread the word.
  11. 11. Experimental Setup Between-subjects design. N = 321 (RM = 193, NOT-RM = 128) Negative Binomial and Logistic Regressions Main Results treemap increases: - # of interaction events OR = 1.87 - # of locations interacted with OR = 2.08 - filter likelihood OR = 2.13 Users interacted with more content, from more locations, and filtered locations also! (diversity) Being from RM: - increases locations interacted with OR = 2.47 - decreases filter likelihood OR = 0.61 * NOT-RM increases representation awareness - they find themselves!
  12. 12. Discussion / What To Take Away Centralization has effects on information perception and user behavior. Algorithms are not enough! We need to find new ways of showing information to users (not necessarily new techniques - but new contexts). Clustered representations work to enhance diversity awareness - but how to display clusters depends on cultural and individual differences.
  13. 13. Final Words Not every culture has the same notion of relevance and importance in content. Even within a country there are differences. Let’s make algorithms and user interfaces aware of them! Future Work Test other visualization-based UIs. Do only hierarchical visualizations work? Qualitative Evaluation. Why does visualization work in this case? Is it more engaging? Does it enable a different perception of information? Replication. Chile is one country and it is very different to others. What about other centralized countries?
  14. 14. Thank you! Do you have any questions? Contact Us: eduardo.graells@telefonica.com @carnby Reproduce Our Experiments! The source code of the project (Twitter crawler, django application, filtering algorithm and visual interface) is available at: https://github.com/carnby/aurora Acknowledgements Dany Pajarito, Denis Parra, Luz Rello, Sergio Salgado.
  15. 15. Background Presentation of Diversified Information (in biased scenarios) - [Park et al., 2009] NewsCube - clustered representations make people aware of diversity in information in terms of media bias. Diversification of Timelines (from an information perspective) - [De Choudhury et al., 2013] Information-Entropy diversification of timelines. - [Munson et al., 2009] Sidelines - filter news by enforcing sides to be present. Cultural Differences - [García-Gavilanes et al., 2014] People from different countries have different social behavior. Treemaps to Visualize News - [Weskampf, 2004] newsmap.jp uses treemaps to visualize news headlines.
  16. 16. Our context: Chile, a centralized country. Economic/political/media powers are concentrated in Santiago (the capital). Región Metropolitana (RM) is the capital region. Chart: flow of mentions and RTs between administrative regions.
  17. 17. This affects Web users as content is not geographically diverse (mostly related to/from Santiago). Content from other locations is hidden and hard to find. (I was at WWW when I searched for this. “Everywhere” displays relevant tweets from Santiago only.)

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