"Genderfluid" or "Attack Helicopter": Responsible HCI Practice with Non-Binary Gender Variation in Online Communities

Researchers at CSMR and Yahoo have developed guidelines and a practical case study in the careful and ethical analysis of gender in Social Media platforms. The authors argue that careful and sensitive study design, analysis and interpretation is an important commitment for the HCI research community.
Samantha Jaroszewski, Yahoo Danielle Lottridge, Yahoo Oliver L. Haimson, University of Michigan School of Information Katie Quehl, Yahoo ABSTRACT - As non-binary genders become increasingly prevalent, researchers face decisions in how to collect, analyze and interpret research participants' genders. We present two case studies on surveys with thousands of respondents, of which hundreds reported gender as something other than simply women or men. First, Tumblr, a blogging platform, resulted in a rich set of gender identities with very few aggressive or resistive responses; the second case study, online Fantasy Football, yielded opposite proportions. By focusing on variation rather than dismissing non-binary responses as noise, we suggest that researchers can better capture gender in a way that 1) addresses gender variation without othering or erasing non-binary respondents; and 2) minimizes "trolls'" opportunity to use surveys as a mischief platform. The analyses of these two distinct case studies find significant gender differences in community dimensions of participation in both networked spaces as well as offering a model for inclusive mixed-methods HCI research. Author Keywords - Survey research; social media; gender; non-binary; transgender; LGBTQ; online communities; trolling; Tumblr; Fantasy sports. ACM Classification Keywords - H.5.3. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI): Group and Organization Interfaces: Collaborative computing, Computer-supported cooperative work, Web-based interaction.
Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Publication date: April 2018. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173881 .