Trust and safety are critical in our digital experiences. Whether navigating e-commerce, social media, or sharing economy platforms, we expect these platforms to provide a trustworthy and secure environment for our varied interactions. My work dives into the depths of these interactions through a human-centered approach, seeking to conceptualize, redefine, and build user trust and safety. In this talk, I will discuss three areas of my work with an emphasis on trust and safety on content creation platforms, where users create, monetize, share, modify, or consume different forms of digitized information. Firstly, I’ll explore the implications of trust and safety on users in the creator economy and discuss how content creators navigate the tensions between being successful and being compliant with content policies across platforms. Secondly, I’ll demonstrate that justice-oriented approaches can build a shared understanding of trust and safety, informing transparency and accountability of platforms and technologies. Thirdly, I’ll highlight vulnerable populations’ unique challenges and needs in navigating content creation platforms safely and trustingly. I’ll wrap up by outlining my prospective research trajectory across theories, policies, designs, and practices, focusing on how trust and safety evolve with breakthrough technologies, impacting our digital experiences.
Renkai Ma is a PhD candidate in the Informatics program at Pennsylvania State University. His research interests span human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work, social computing, as well as trust and safety, with an emphasis on building mutual trust among diverse users and technologies and designing a secure online environment for users, including high-profile ones like content creators and vulnerable populations. He has also studied video games, player experiences, and health informatics. He has published research at highly selective HCI venues, including the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) and the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction (CSCW). He has served on the program committees for late-breaking work of ACM CHI 2023 and 2024 and received 11 Special Recognitions for Outstanding Reviews for ACM SIGCHI venues between 2021 and 2024. He also conducted industry User Experience research at SiriusXM/Pandora and Meta/WhatsApp.