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Ganondox
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30 Oct 2022, 2:16 am

Hello. I'm part of a team working on redesigning social media for autistic users as part of a competition. Specifically we're looking into designing an extension for Facebook messenger to help with some problems we identified. Here is the problem statements and proposed solutions our team came up with:

"Prompt Generator :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to have difficulties initiating and maintaining conversations than their neurotypical counterparts. When these difficulties are left unaddressed, individuals in the Autism community have an increased likelihood of isolation and social withdrawal. We will be designing a feature for messenger which will provide conversation-starting prompts based on perceived interests. We hope that this will help users on the Autism Spectrum initiate and maintain conversations with others.

Content Labeller :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to struggle with determining appropriate social interactions through social media. This can lead to negative legal, social, and privacy implications. We will be designing a feature which will label messages as either likely to be inappropriate or appropriate. We hope that this will assist individuals on the Autism Spectrum with deciding whether a message is appropriate before sending it.

Availability Indicator :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to expect immediate feedback when messaging others. This can lead to both anxiety for the Autistic individual as well as negative social outcomes. We will be designing a feature where a user will have to send a request to message a given user. Only once the request is accepted will they be able to message the other person. We hope that this will decrease anxiety around expectations of immediate feedback due to the fact that a user cannot send a message in the first place until receiving approval from the other user. "

Any feedback on any of the points would be appreciated. We'd also like to hear if any other thoughts about autism and social media design that you would like to share, thanks.


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Mona Pereth
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30 Oct 2022, 3:01 pm

Ganondox wrote:
"Prompt Generator :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to have difficulties initiating and maintaining conversations than their neurotypical counterparts. When these difficulties are left unaddressed, individuals in the Autism community have an increased likelihood of isolation and social withdrawal. We will be designing a feature for messenger which will provide conversation-starting prompts based on perceived interests. We hope that this will help users on the Autism Spectrum initiate and maintain conversations with others.

This looks like a possible good idea, depending on how it's implemented.

Ganondox wrote:
Availability Indicator :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to expect immediate feedback when messaging others. This can lead to both anxiety for the Autistic individual as well as negative social outcomes. We will be designing a feature where a user will have to send a request to message a given user. Only once the request is accepted will they be able to message the other person. We hope that this will decrease anxiety around expectations of immediate feedback due to the fact that a user cannot send a message in the first place until receiving approval from the other user. "

If I were still a Facebook user, I would NOT like this proposed new feature AT ALL. I'd much rather just see an actual message from someone than a wordless request for permission to send a message. The latter gives the recipient little or no basis for deciding whether to accept the request.

On Discord, you can see an indication of whether/when someone is in process of typing a response. That's a sufficient indication, to the eventual recipient, that the other person isn't ignoring the conversation.

By the way, back in the days when I had a Facebook account, over 10 years ago, one of the things I didn't like about it was that I kept getting lots and lots of friend requests from total strangers, and I didn't find any way to set my account so that I could receive private messages, but NOT friend requests, from people not already on my friends list. (I have no way of knowing whether this is still the case.) Alternatively, I would want the option to require all friend requests to be accompanied by a self-intro message.

Anyhow, my biggest problem with Facebook, and the main reason why I left Facebook, is its "real names" policy, which I consider to be a massive violation of the privacy of marginalized people of all kinds. (See Warnings about online harassment.)


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Mona Pereth
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30 Oct 2022, 3:37 pm

Ganondox wrote:
Content Labeller :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to struggle with determining appropriate social interactions through social media. This can lead to negative legal, social, and privacy implications. We will be designing a feature which will label messages as either likely to be inappropriate or appropriate. We hope that this will assist individuals on the Autism Spectrum with deciding whether a message is appropriate before sending it.

Hopefully instead of just a single binary indicator of "appropriate" vs. "inappropriate," there would be a list of specific criteria by which something was deemed "inappropriate"? The list of specific criteria would be much more helpful.

Also it would be helpful to have the criteria be customizable.


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- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Ganondox
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30 Oct 2022, 10:30 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:

Ganondox wrote:
Availability Indicator :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to expect immediate feedback when messaging others. This can lead to both anxiety for the Autistic individual as well as negative social outcomes. We will be designing a feature where a user will have to send a request to message a given user. Only once the request is accepted will they be able to message the other person. We hope that this will decrease anxiety around expectations of immediate feedback due to the fact that a user cannot send a message in the first place until receiving approval from the other user. "

If I were still a Facebook user, I would NOT like this proposed new feature AT ALL. I'd much rather just see an actual message from someone than a wordless request for permission to send a message. The latter gives the recipient little or no basis for deciding whether to accept the request.

On Discord, you can see an indication of whether/when someone is in process of typing a response. That's a sufficient indication, to the eventual recipient, that the other person isn't ignoring the conversation.



Sorry, I posted the wrong version. I had it changed to the following:

"Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to expect immediate feedback when messaging others. This can lead to both anxiety for the autistic individual as well as negative social outcomes. We will be designing a feature where users will be asked to set an availability indicator when logging on to signify if they will be open to conversations this session. We hope this will decrease anxiety by showing users who are actually in a position to respond immediately."

precisely because I anticipated this reaction, but despite my attempts to get it right I accidentally pasted the wrong version.


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Last edited by Ganondox on 30 Oct 2022, 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ganondox
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30 Oct 2022, 10:34 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
Content Labeller :
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are more likely to struggle with determining appropriate social interactions through social media. This can lead to negative legal, social, and privacy implications. We will be designing a feature which will label messages as either likely to be inappropriate or appropriate. We hope that this will assist individuals on the Autism Spectrum with deciding whether a message is appropriate before sending it.

Hopefully instead of just a single binary indicator of "appropriate" vs. "inappropriate," there would be a list of specific criteria by which something was deemed "inappropriate"? The list of specific criteria would be much more helpful.

Also it would be helpful to have the criteria be customizable.


We plan on using existing sentiment analysis models because we don't have time to train a new one, so we'll see what we have to work with but I'll be sure to forward this to the rest of the team.


_________________
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Softly Spoken lies
You never know just how you look
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Autism FAQs http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt186115.html


Ganondox
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31 Oct 2022, 2:01 am

Mona Pereth wrote:

By the way, back in the days when I had a Facebook account, over 10 years ago, one of the things I didn't like about it was that I kept getting lots and lots of friend requests from total strangers, and I didn't find any way to set my account so that I could receive private messages, but NOT friend requests, from people not already on my friends list. (I have no way of knowing whether this is still the case.) Alternatively, I would want the option to require all friend requests to be accompanied by a self-intro message.

Anyhow, my biggest problem with Facebook, and the main reason why I left Facebook, is its "real names" policy, which I consider to be a massive violation of the privacy of marginalized people of all kinds. (See Warnings about online harassment.)


I don't think we can incorporation this into our competition design, but I'm also part of lab focused on privacy concerns with social media so I have shared this with them.


_________________
Cinnamon and sugary
Softly Spoken lies
You never know just how you look
Through other people's eyes

Autism FAQs http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt186115.html