Christian Sandvig

Christian Sandvig
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Communication Studies

Ph.D., Communication Research, Stanford University

About

53
Publications
18,757
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,564
Citations
Citations since 2016
11 Research Items
2057 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2009 - June 2010
Harvard University
Position
  • Fellow
September 2009 - June 2010
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 1997 - January 2002
Stanford University
Field of study
  • Communication

Publications

Publications (53)
Book
Algorithms are ubiquitous and critical sources of information online and increasingly act as gatekeepers for users accessing or sharing information about virtually any topic. This includes information about their personal lives and those of friends and family, news and politics, entertainment, and even health and well-being. As a result, algorithmi...
Article
While researchers have developed rigorous practices for offline housing audits to enforce the US Fair Housing Act, the online world lacks similar practices. In this work we lay out principles for developing and performing online fairness audits. We demonstrate a controlled sock-puppet audit technique for building online profiles associated with a s...
Conference Paper
Advertisers develop algorithms to select the most relevant advertisements for users. However, the opacity of these algorithms, along with their potential for violating user privacy, has decreased user trust and preference in behavioral advertising. To mitigate this, advertisers have started to communicate algorithmic processes in behavioral adverti...
Conference Paper
Algorithmic prioritization is a growing focus for social media users. Control settings are one way for users to adjust the prioritization of their news feeds, but they prioritize feed content in a way that can be difficult to judge objectively. In this work, we study how users engage with difficult-to-validate controls. Via two paired studies using...
Article
Two theoretical approaches have recently emerged to characterize new digital objects of study in the media landscape: infrastructure studies and platform studies. Despite their separate origins and different features, we demonstrate in this article how the cross-articulation of these two perspectives improves our understanding of current digital me...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This panel will explore algorithmic authority as it manifests and plays out across multiple domains. Algorithmic authority refers to the power of algorithms to manage human action and influence what information is accessible to users. Algorithms increasingly have the ability to affect everyday life, work practices, and economic systems through auto...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many online platforms use curation algorithms that are opaque to the user. Recent work suggests that discovering a filtering algorithm's existence in a curated feed influences user experience, but it remains unclear how users reason about the operation of these algorithms. In this qualitative laboratory study, researchers interviewed a diverse, non...
Conference Paper
Maps have long played a crucial role in enabling people to conceptualize and navigate the world around them. However, maps also encode the world-views of their creators. Disputed international borders are one example of this: governments may mandate that cartographers produce maps that conform to their view of a territorial dispute. Today, online m...
Article
Full-text available
Computer algorithms organize and select information across a wide range of applications and industries, from search results to social media. Abuses of power by Internet platforms have led to calls for algorithm transparency and regulation. Algorithms have a particularly problematic history of processing information about race. Yet some analysts hav...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our daily digital life is full of algorithmically selected content such as social media feeds, recommendations and personal-ized search results. These algorithms have great power to shape users' experiences, yet users are often unaware of their presence. Whether it is useful to give users insight into these algorithms' existence or functionality an...
Article
Full-text available
Historical mass media and contemporary social media are typically seen as opposites. “The culture industry” was the term used by the Frankfurt School in the 1940s to explain the emerging commercial mass media. The culture industry was portrayed as a semi-fascist apparatus of indoctrination. It selected cultural products and made them popular based...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social media feeds, personalized search results and recommendations are examples of algorithmically curated content in our daily digital Life. While the algorithms that curated this content have great power to shape users' experiences, they are mostly hidden behind the interface, leaving users unaware of their presence. Whether it is helpful to giv...
Article
Full-text available
For more than three-and-a-half centuries, the scholarly infrastructure-composed of commercial publishers, learned societies, libraries, and the scholars themselves-has provided the foundation functions of certification, registration, access, preservation, and reward. However, over the last two decades, the stability of this infrastructure has been...
Article
Full-text available
Design for civic participation in the "smart" city requires examination of the algorithms by which computational processes organize and present geospatial information to inhabitants. How does awareness of these algorithms positively or negatively affect use? A renewed approach to one popular twentieth-century model for city design reveals potential...
Article
Full-text available
The rise in prevalence of algorithmically curated feeds in online news and social media sites raises a new question for designers, critics, and scholars of media: how aware are users of the role of algorithms and filters in their news sources? This paper situates this problem within the history of design for interaction, with an emphasis on the con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We address the ACM Code of Ethics and discuss the stipulation that researchers follow terms of service. While the reasons for following terms of service are clear, we argue that there are hidden costs. Using the example of research into algorithm awareness and algorithm transparency, we argue that for some research problems the benefits to society...
Article
Providing telecommunications service and promoting adoption on Native American lands remains one of the hardest problems in telecommunications policy (e.g., FCC 2011). Yet a notable success story for the diffusion of broadband Internet has been the Tribal Digital Village (TDV), a solar wireless Internet distribution network that serves 19 federally...
Article
Full-text available
History repeatedly demonstrates that rural communities have unique technological needs. Yet little is known about how rural communities use modern technologies, which therefore results in a collective lack knowledge about how to design for rural life. To address this gap, the present empirical article investigates behavioral differences between mor...
Article
Communication systems are now converging, but communication policy has evolved to treat different media with different doctrines. Most solutions for a post-convergence communication policy are adjustments to inherited regulatory categories. Instead, this article revisits the underlying goals of policymaking across all media. First, this article pre...
Article
Full-text available
Os sistemas de comunicações estão convergindo, mas a política de comunicação tem evoluído no sentido de submeter as diferentes mídias a diferentes doutrinas. Muitas das soluções para uma política de comunicação pós-convergência são ajustes às categorias regulatórias herdadas do passado. Em vez de seguir com essa tendência, este artigo revisita os o...
Article
Full-text available
Communication systems are now converging, but communication policy has evolved to treat different media differently. Most solutions for a post-convergence communication policy are adjustments to inherited regulatory categories. Instead, this article revisits the underlying goals of policy-making across all media. First, the article presents a conce...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
History repeatedly demonstrates that rural communities have unique technological needs. Yet, we know little about how rural communities use modern technologies, so we lack knowledge on how to design for them. To address this gap, our empirical paper investigates behavioral differences between more than 3,000 rural and urban social media users. Usin...
Article
An uncontroversial prediction about the future of electromagnetic spectrum use is that the developed world will soon be filled with far more license-exempt low powered devices. Today's widespread deployment of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth exemplify this trend. Although in many ways a consumer's Wi-Fi enabled portable device couldn't be more different from a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This article considers internet system development with reference to what is currently termed the “network neutrality” debate; its aim is to develop improved ways of reasoning about the role of the public interest in networked communications infrastructures. Design/methodology/approach To assess the degree to which a general non‐discrimina...
Article
Full-text available
Today's internet presumes that individuals are capable of configuring software to address issues such as spam, security, indecent content, and privacy. This assumption is worrying - common sense and empirical evidence state that not everyone is so interested or so skilled. When regulatory decisions are left to individuals, for the unskilled the def...
Article
The articles in this volume portray government investment in wireless as a creature of recent events. 1 A case can be made for government, municipal, and community wireless today because digital convergence has combined with improvements in wireless technology, changes in federal spectrum regulation, slow private wireline broadband deployment, and...
Article
and radios may use many frequencies, time divisions, power levels, and arrangements across space. The result has been a bewildering array of new visualizations of the electromagnetic spectrum, appearing at a time when more and more finely detailed decisions about spectrum allocation and management are being made. In short, who may participate in el...
Article
This article reports an ethnographic study of a subsidized computer center for children in an inner-city library. Unsurprisingly, young children play with the Internet. Surprisingly, this creates conflict with the justifications given for such centers by adults and public policy, leading to an atmosphere of tension between differing understandings...
Article
In the development of past infrastructures, cooperative and amateur action has been a vehicle for diffusion, experimentation, innovation, popularization, and the provision of new features or services. 802.11 (“Wi-Fi”) cooperatives are now proliferating. This user study considers three cases of cooperative action in the discovery, development, and p...
Article
Full-text available
Today, those who hope to transform society have a wide range of technologies at their disposal, not least the Internet. Yet some time ago, Thomas More set out to transform society using only an egg incubator. In the book that provided the genre of utopianism with its name, More’s 16th century Latin best seller Utopia (1516/ 1965), technology appear...
Article
Full-text available
Significant U.S. policy initiatives in the late 1990s were intended to control Internet access, privacy, and indecency—specifically amongchildren.Thisstudyreflectsontheseusingquantitativedata fromacomputer center in achildren's library in theinnercity.Re- searchers gathered 16 weeks of page requests (n=203,647) using "click stream" and behavioral d...
Article
Research following the "selective exposure" model has focused on avoidance of political messages with which a person might disagree. But positive attention to such "counter-attitudinal" messages is worthy of study, in part because normative theories of democracy value exposure to information that might disturb citizens' political predispositions. S...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This paper,presents,the ethnographic,study,of a free public computer,center providing,high-speed,Internet access and software,specifically for children,under,age 14 in an inner-city library. It is the purpose,of this study to develop an understandingof the center by investigatingthe disparity,between,actual use of the center by children an...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract It is often claimed that Internet technology will revolutionize society by privileging the small and benefiting the individual. We term the utopian tendency to hail a new communication technology as an inherently positive, decentralizing, and democratic force “the Jeffersonian syndrome.” This syndrome,leads to fallacious expectations about...
Article
Abstract This study presents,a 16-week,analysis of network traffic at a public Internet access center in an inner city children’s library. It contrasts “digital divide” policy initiatives intended,to benefit children,with empirical data on use by children under,14. Overall use of the center is consistent with home and school use by children, yet th...

Network

Cited By