Call for Papers:Towards an Ethics of Community Management: SWARM Research Symposium

Over the past two years, the role of social media and online communities has come under increased scrutiny. Whether this be about the implications of interface and algorithmic design, the toxicity of communities, the spread of false information, or the use of psychographic data to micro-target individuals, it has become clear that we need to reconsider the public responsibility of social media platforms. This includes imagining new and more ethical approaches to effective community management.

The Swarm Research Symposium, hosted by the Media and Communications Program at the University of Melbourne, is designed to bring together academic and industry thinkers to exchange ideas and research on the topic of ethical community management.  The symposium will be capped off with a keynote presentation from Associate Professor Tarleton Gillespie, currently Principal Researcher at Microsoft in the Social Media Collective. Professor Gillespie will talk on his new book: Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, content moderation and the hidden decisions that shape social media.

We invite academics and practitioners to submit 200-400 word abstracts for papers on the symposium theme: ‘Towards an Ethics of Community Management’. Specific areas of interest include:
*Humane technology design
*Measures for establishing healthy online communities
*The processes of online content management
*The power of platforms and algorithms in shaping online community
*Human, automatic and AI-based moderation and management processes
*The ethics of algorithms, including gender, racial and political bias
*Inclusion and diversity in online communities

There is no registration fee for the research symposium. The research symposium will be held on the 30 August 2018 (1pm-5pm) at The Dream Factory, Melbourne, Australia.

Proposals are due by 22 June and successful applicants will be informed by the start of July.

Please send proposals to: Dr Jennifer Beckett or Associate Professor Scott Wright

SWARM is Australia’s online community management conference. It was founded in 2011, and runs over two days. More details about the conference can be found here:

The Media and Communications Program at the University of Melbourne is top-ranked in Australia (QS 2018) and is a research leader in online community management.