about

a pic of me my sister took

My name is Sohyeon Hwang, and I'm a first-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University. I am advised by Dr. Aaron Shaw and part of the Community Data Science Collective.

My research interests center around governance (broadly speaking) and online participation. I currently focus on the complexity of governance in large-scale social computing systems, particularly networked platforms that follow decentralized modes of moderation and rule enforcement like Reddit and Wikipedia.

In the long-term, I'm interested in how heterogeneous socio-technical features disparately govern and affect participation on large-scale, networked platforms. More broadly, I am interested in how ideas (e.g. about governance) and user-generated content evolve in propagation across these kinds of systems/platforms, which are also connected to one another in complicated ways.

In my non-academic life, I volunteer as a tutor with the cool folks at GirlForward and like to nap, hang around museums, and take pictures on my point-and-shoot. I enjoy simple things and therefore am trying to keep this site as simple as I can.

current projects

> complex governance

This project aims to develop an understanding of "complexity" of governance in large-scale social computing systems. Although many sites have platform-wide rules, governance in practice is culturally and socially contingent. Sub-communities often demonstrate clashing interpretations of rule meanings, such as what counts as harassment of a minority group. Using trace data of governance-related activity on two platforms with decentralized modes of governance, Wikipedia and Reddit, we map and evaluate how communities heterogeneously fill the gap between rules-as-written (de jure) and rules-as-practiced (de facto) to impact the credibility and effectiveness of online governance.

In ongoing and future work I aim to map the range of governance de jure in written rules across sub-communities of online platforms as well as the range of governance de facto in the enforcement practices and tools, to develop a model of the complex ecosystem of digital governance and understand the impact of this complexity on the effectiveness of governing online communities.

> content diffusion in non-use

More information coming soon! Stay tuned :^)

w/ Yena Lee

past work

Before I came to Northwestern, I received my B.A. in Government and Information Science from Cornell University. My undergraduate studies were multidisciplinary in nature and motivated by questions about influence, ideas, and politics. I did a broad range of work to that end (my cv is probably a better place to get a sense of this), including archival research in Germany as a Frederic Conger Wood Research Fellow and more computational work like text mining political communications in projects within the Information Science department.

Afterwards I was an Emma Bowen Summer Fellow on the Audience Team at Reveal/Center for Investigative Reporting, developing a digital reporting network initiative in addition to supporting breaking news invesigations. Some of the themes from my undergrad studies that I saw re-emerge in the work there gave me the final push to apply to graduate school, and now I am here :)