social media

Sociotechnical Systems in Fairness & Accountability Research

In contemporary discussions about fairness and accountability regarding the mass implementation of ML systems and participatory technologies, understanding a technology, like a social media platform, as a sociotechnical system is a critical and necessary approach for articulating and addressing modern threats emerging alongside these technologies. Sociotechnical studies emphasize how the social context in which a technology is used will influence its adoption and use patterns. I often see the term employed by research groups like Data and Society, conferences like the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (ACM FAccT), and university research groups like Princeton's CITP and Cornell's Citizens and Technology Lab.