Niloufar

Niloufar Salehi

Ph.D. candidate at Stanford HCI
niloufar@cs.stanford.edu · CV

2015

18 Apr

2014

22 May

Awarded Stanford Graduate Fellowship 2014-2018

2013

We Are Dynamo

Jun 2013 - present
website: www.wearedynamo.org
publication: We Are Dynamo: Navigating the Twin Perils of Stalling and Friction in Crowd Workers’ Collective Action, CHI'15
with Michael Bernstein, Lilly Irani, Ali Alkhatib, Eva Ogbe, Kristy Milland, ClickHappier

Dynamo is a platform to support the Mechanical Turk community in forming publics around issues and then mobilizing. We are researching new approaches, systems, and labor mechanisms for collective action online.

"Despite their variety, Turkers have something in common—a lack of power. They operate in a realm largely untouched by legislation, unions, and guilds. As a result, the inexperienced can find themselves earning well below minimum wage, or abused by underhanded employers. But a project out of Stanford University [and UC San Diego] is hoping to grant Turkers agency—and might begin to revolutionize the industry. Dynamo is a platform that gives Turkers a collective voice and, consequently, the chance to drive change." -The Daily Beast

Campaigns

1. Have you signed the guidelines for ethical research on MTurk?

Treat your workers with respect and dignity. Workers are not numbers and statistics. Workers are not lab rats. Workers are people and should be treated with respect. - turker 'T', a Turkopticon moderator

Plenty of academic research passes through AMT or is about Turkers, but ethics boards (IRBs) who review and approve research protocols often don't know how workers want to be treated. Turkers have collectively authored these guidelines to help educate researchers and let Turkers hold them accountable to a higher standard.
Email us at info@wearedynamo.org to add your support.


2. Letter writing campaign to Jeff Bezos: I am a human being not an algorithm

All around the world, people are writing letters about themselves to a distant, all-powerful figure who can make their dreams come true. But this year, many of those letters will be addressed to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos rather than Father Christmas. - The Guardian
The goals of this campaign are to publicly state that:
  • Turkers are human beings, not algorithms, and should be marketed accordingly.
  • Turkers should not be sold as cheap labour, but instead skilled, flexible labour which needs to be respected.
  • Turkers need to have a method of representing themselves to Requesters and the world via Amazon.

Selected Press

Intellectual Piecework, The Chronicle, 2/16/2015
Amazon's Mechanical Turk workers protest: 'I am a human being, not an algorithm', The Guardian, 12/3/2014
Amazon’s Turkers Kick Off the First Crowdsourced Labor Guild, The Daily Beast, 12/3/2014
Amazon's Mechanical Turk workers want to be treated like humans, Engadget, 12/3/2014
Workers of Amazon services published open letters to Bezos saying "We are not an algorithm", Gigazine, 12/4/2014 ( Japanese)
Amazon Mechanical Turk workers begin letter-writing campaign, Crowdsourcing.org, 12/5/2014
Amazon Mechanical Turk: Artificial Artificial Intelligence, Rhizome Today, 12/5/2014
The proletariat web accesses the class consciousness and launches its first collective action to improve working conditions, Slate, 12/4/2014 (French)
Mechanical Turk workers protest, Xakep, 12/8/2014 (Russian)
The proletariat web accesses the class consciousness, Internet ACTU, 12/8/2014 (French)


The Many Faces of Facebook

Jun 2012 - Sep 2012
publication: The Many Faces of Facebook: Experiencing Social Media as Performance, Exhibition, and​ Personal Archive, CHI'13, Best Paper Award

How does the relationship between users and their personal collection of social media data shift over time as this “digital trace” is formed? We explored these relationships, tensions, and management strategies involved. User culture of social networks has long been considered as “right here, right now”; However, we believe Facebook Timeline -explicitly supporting access to past data- has created a unique opportunity to rethink the nature of social media, the information it affords, and the user culture around it. We conducted a user study and discussed models and design ideas to address what we found.

Our study shows that people experience the Facebook platform as consisting of three different functional regions: a performance region for managing recent data and impression management, an exhibition region for longer term presentation of self-image, and a personal region for archiving meaningful facets of life. Further, users' need for presenting and archiving data in these three regions is mediated by temporality. These findings trigger a discussion of how to design social media that support these dynamic and sometimes conflicting needs.