Designing the front-end of a tool that facilitates bypassing censorship on Sina Weibo

Eric Gilbert
Chaya Hiruncharoenvate, Samyukta Sherugar, Kexin Zhang

Like traditional media, social media in China is subject to censorship. However, in limited cases, activists have employed homophones of censored keywords to avoid detection by keyword matching algorithms. This project focusses on designing an interactive, client-side tool that promotes free speech. An iterative design process, involving the inputs of end-users will deliver a final design. In the evaluation of the design we will target the following research questions:

RQ 1. Does the UI workflow fit into the context of use of the users?
RQ 2. What the user preferences in terms of providing input and receiving output?
RQ 3. Do users prefer a desktop version or mobile or both?
RQ 4. Does the design feel familiar and similar to the UIs in China?
RQ 5. Does the UI feel trust-able ( does the UI breed and draw trust from the users? )

For the info on the algorithm, see project: Algorithmically Bypassing Censorship on Sina Weibo with Nondeterministic Homophone Substitutions

Eric Gilbert

The lab focuses on the design and analysis of social media. According to their website they "like puppies, mixed methods and new students (particularly MS)."