We seek to enable anyone to engage critically with the tech tools and platforms they use, ask questions, and get answers. Working hand-in-hand with diverse communities and organizations around the world, we identify issues of shared concern (“effects”) related to digital discourse, digital rights and consumer protection. Our research methods can discover if a proposed effect is really happening, uncover the causes behind a systemic issue, and test ideas for creating change.
In keeping with our core values, we publish summaries and results of all CivilServant experiments here on our website. Each of the pages below is an index of links to all of the materials for a single study we have completed, from calls of participation to statistical analysis.
We invite you to explore our experiments and team blog to learn more about what we do and how we do it.
CAT Lab studies
Ethics of Independent Tech Research
Effective technology governance needs reliable knowledge about the effects of technologies and our attempts to predict, prevent, and steer them […]
Can norms against harassment change behavior and grow participation online? We are still actively working with communities on this research […]
How can we understand and manage the impact of adaptive algorithms that respond to people’s behavior and also influence what […]
Community-Centered Ethics Systems
How should researchers think about designing and evaluating ethics systems, which often create unspoken guardrails through the ethical frameworks and […]
Automated Law Enforcement
What impact does automated law enforcement have on fundamental rights— and does it influence how people exercise those rights? Automated law […]
Testing Technology Concerns with N-of-One Trials
Are we becoming glued to our phones through clever, addictive designs? Technology critics and industry defectors argue that smartphones are […]
Intrinsic Motivations for Volunteering
What motivates volunteers to contribute to projects? Scholars often answer that question by looking at the personal rewards volunteers gain: […]
Welcoming Newcomers on Wikipedia
For peer production communities like Wikipedia to thrive, they need to attract and retain new contributors. In a 2020 study […]