Privacy, anonymity, and perceived risk in open collaboration: A study of service providers

Nora McDonald, Benjamin Mako Hill, Rachel Greenstadt, Andrea Forte

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


    Anonymity can enable both healthy online interactions like support-seeking and toxic behaviors like hate speech. How do online service providers balance these threats and opportunities? This two-part qualitative study examines the challenges perceived by open collaboration service providers in allowing anonymous contributions to their projects. We interviewed eleven people familiar with organizational decisions related to privacy and security at fve open collaboration projects and followed up with an analysis of public discussions about anonymous contribution to Wikipedia. We contrast our fndings with prior work on threats perceived by project volunteers and explore misalignment between policies aiming to serve contributors and the privacy practices of contributors themselves.

    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
    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


    Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Anonymity
    • Peer production
    • Tor
    • Wikipedia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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