Moderation practices as emotional labor in sustaining online communities: The case of AAPI identity work on reddit

Bryan Dosono, Bryan Semaan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine how and why Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) moderators on Reddit shape the norms of their online communities through the analytic lens of emotional labor. We conduct interviews with 21 moderators who facilitate identity work discourse in AAPI subreddits and present a thematic analysis of their moderation practices. We report on their challenges to sustaining moderation, which include burning out from volunteer work, navigating hierarchical structures, and balancing unfulfilled expectations. We then describe strategies that moderators employ to manage emotional labor, which involve distancing away from drama, building solidarity from shared struggles, and integrating an ecology of tools for self-organized moderation. We provide recommendations for improving moderation in online communities centered around identity work and discuss implications of emotional labor in the design of Reddit and similar platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: May 4 2019May 9 2019

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period5/4/195/9/19

Keywords

  • AAPI
  • Bot
  • Emotional labor
  • Harassment
  • Identity work
  • Microaggressions
  • Moderation
  • Online communities
  • Race
  • Reddit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Dosono, B., & Semaan, B. (2019). Moderation practices as emotional labor in sustaining online communities: The case of AAPI identity work on reddit. In CHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300372