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
Growing African Self-Representation on Wikipedia
How can we advance human understanding on the internet when so many people are left out of the conversation? And […]
Marginalized communities online often face disruption from outsiders trying to cause trouble. These communities are targets for coordinated harassment on […]
COVID-19 Algorithms and Public Health
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Citizens and Technology Lab and our team members have developed several projects to support public […]
The Effects of Saying Thanks Online
The internet can often be a negative environment. Might expressions of gratitude make online communities stronger and more inclusive? To […]
Crowd-sourced audits of algorithmic decision-makers
How can independent researchers reliably detect bias, discrimination, and other systematic errors in software-based decision-making systems? In a project with […]
When Facebook changes how it works, how does that affect our lives and those of our friends? When we test […]
Do downvote buttons in online discussions protect communities from unruly comments, attract partisan conflict, or do they achieve both of […]
When users of online platforms complain, we’re often told to leave if we don’t like how a platform is run. […]