Encouraging Employer Transparency: A Hiring Platform Tool for Value Conscious Workers; Partisan Platforms: Responses to Perceived Liberal Bias in Social Media

Giraudeau, Luke, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Pettit, Raymond, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Praphamontripong, Upsorn, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Jacques, Richard, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Social exclusion and rejection are issues dating back to antiquity; however, their online counterpart is a phenomenon isolated to the last few decades. With the rise of social platforms and ever-increasing online interaction, society has had to grapple with both the positive and negative effects of these experiences, which has been commonly titled “cancel culture.” My socio-technical research paper, Partisan Platforms: Responses to Perceived Liberal Bias in Social Media, investigates responses to online rejection perceived by political conservatives on social media, and my technical project, Encouraging Employer Transparency: A Hiring Platform Tool for Value Conscious Workers, acknowledges the intersection of online conflict and corporate behavior by proposing a solution for improved stakeholder communication.
In my STS research paper, I consider three ways in which conservatives mobilize in response to perceived liberal bias: 1) “calling out” alleged bias by posting and further platform activity, 2) altering users’ real-world plans, and 3) migrating to alternative social media platforms. The first response was exemplified by numerous leading conservative individuals and organizations such as author and activist Brent Bozell, and student action group Turning Point USA. The second response studied was highlighted by actor Gina Carano’s social media “cancelling” when employer Lucas Films dropped her as an actress, and she then signed with the Daily Wire to create a new film. The final reaction to perceived bias was considered by examining Gab and its growth as an alternate media platform for conservative voices.
The technical portion of my thesis produced a prototype and system design to advance value communication within a business. The solution mitigates financial loss due to lawsuit and reputation forfeiture when corporations experience ideological conflict. An important feature that is stressed in the prototypes is the use of the cloud to secure privacy loopholes and widespread access. It was tested by multiple engineers with positive feedback to confirm its viability as a value communication tool.
The digression into political and corporate spheres emphasizes both the scope and complexity of online social rejection and exclusion. Considering politically conservative social media user mobilization gives insight into the reach of online conflict, whilst the unclear corporate value discourse underscores the need for focused technological mediums. I learned that great sociotechnical issues can be challenged by addressing constituent problems that are solvable. The barriers of social media polarization and ambiguous online communication are concerns that pose a threat to the harmony of society. This work affirms the complexity and significance of these issues ethically, whilst laying a foundation for critical future research.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
social media, cancel culture, social networks, censorship, partisan, polarization, politics, conservative, liberal

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisors: Ray Pettit, Upsorn Praphamontripong
STS Advisor: Richard Jacques

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