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For those planning to attend ICWSM, please consider submitting to and participating in our half-day workshop focusing on the interplay between human perception and social media systems! Details below-

Call for Contributions & Participation for a (Half-Day) Workshop on Perceptual Biases and Social Media (PBSM'17)
Montreal, Canada, May 15th, 2017

PBSM'17 will be held the day prior to the start of the 11th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (http://icwsm.org/2017/)

Keynote Speakers: Alice Marwick and Christo Wilson

Deadline for submissions: March 8th, 2017

Website: https://pbsm2017.github.io/

Conference Email (questions & submissions): [log in to unmask]om

Organizers: Nir Grinberg, Kenneth Joseph & Brooke Foucault Welles


Recent demonstrations of racial, religious and gender bias in the United States have drawn public attention to stereotyping and discrimination in American society and its institutions. However, stereotyping and prejudice are only two examples of how our perceptual biases impact behavior. Confirmation bias, bias in media coverage of events and preferential attachment are all examples of perceptual biases that shape social processes like the creation of echo chambers and discriminatory behaviors. The emergence of social media as a prominent medium for human communication has the potential to provide a new lens for studying the relationship between perceptual biases and social processes, and the role social media plays in affecting this relationship.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together those interested in studying how social media systems and perceptual biases co-evolve, and to produce a position paper that outlines what existing research has shown and where new research could improve our understanding. We purposely leave the definition of perceptual bias broad, as the way a person (or institution) constructs its reality. We do so in order to address a variety of possible biases, from those that impact hiring practices of social media companies to those that play a role in social interaction.


We seek submissions that will contribute to the creation of the final position paper with respect to the four themes of the conference (more information about each can be found on the website):

1. What are the key perceptual biases (e.g. stereotypes, ideologies, expectations) that impact social media systems?
2. How do social media systems impact perceptual biases and how do the biases shape social media systems?
3. How can social media data be used to complement existing methodologies (e.g. survey, lab experiments) for measuring specific perceptual biases?
4. How can social media platforms be designed to reduce bias, if possible, in cases where it is undesirable?

All submissions should be one page or less and should contain two parts:

1. A brief outline of three perceptual biases that impact the way one or more social media systems are used and/or that are impacted by the use of social media

2. A brief sketch of a potential project or an existing work that addresses themes 2, 3 or 4 from above with respect to one or more social media systems.

Please send your submissions to [log in to unmask]. The deadline for submissions is March 8th at 8PM EST. The final position paper will be published in a venue chosen by workshop participants, and everyone who makes a submission and attends the workshop will be invited as a contributing author to the position paper.


The workshop will include keynote talks by Dr. Alice Marwick and Dr. Christo Wilson. It will also include break out sessions to construct sections for the final position paper and time for general discussion. See the website for more details! 
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