Measuring the Effectiveness of Digital Inclusion Approaches

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the depth and breadth of the digital divide. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, expanding access to Internet connectivity and devices has risen to the top of the national policy agenda. Yet, despite many existing and new initiatives at the federal, state, and local level, over 76 million Americans remained unconnected or underconnected (connected through a smartphone data plan only) in the first quarter of 2021, most of whom lived in low-income households…. Read More » “Measuring the Effectiveness of Digital Inclusion Approaches”

Platform Governance in Comparative Perspective

Freedom of speech is increasingly mediated by a small set of social media platforms that operate under different national or regional governance regimes. At the front end of speech moderation is the governance by platforms, cemented in community guidelines and terms of service, as well as in socio-technical tools like user flagging or reporting, outsourced human content moderators, and fact-checking organizations. These have come under question by a growing body of scholarship for their lack of transparency and effectiveness…. Read More » “Platform Governance in Comparative Perspective”

Connecting Skid Row Project

People experiencing homelessness are often socially marginalized and denied access to technology resources. Yet they find ways to use communication technologies such as smartphones and the Internet throughout their daily lives, to seek information, build or maintain social ties, or for entertainment. How do these practices help them acquire resources, access services or activate systems of social support?
The Connecting Skid Row Project explores these questions through community-engaged research with surveys, in-depth interviews,… Read More » “Connecting Skid Row Project”

Connected Communities and Inclusive Growth (CCIG)

This research project studies disparities in broadband infrastructure and online access in California, exploring its socioeconomic determinants and spatial patterns at the community level. Through policy reports, maps and data analysis, the projects seeks to inform policy and advocacy to achieve digital equity in California. The project has received funding from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), the Michelson Foundation, and the USC Center for Social Innovation.
The most recent maps and data are here…. Read More » “Connected Communities and Inclusive Growth (CCIG)”

Discrimination and Inequality in the Gig Economy

Despite a large amount of evidence about discrimination in the gig economy, the mechanisms that result in lower earnings and fewer opportunities for women, racial minorities and other groups remain poorly understood. This project examines the underlying mechanisms of hiring and matching in digital labor platforms. In particular, it seeks to understand how platform architecture and user behavior interact to affect opportunities for different groups. The methodology combines big data analytics with traditional survey and experimental methods…. Read More » “Discrimination and Inequality in the Gig Economy”