WAITS – V

The fifth Washington Area IT Symposium (WAITS) will be hosted by George Mason University the afternoon of October 1st, 2021 from noon to 3:00pm. We are back in person! No more Zoom! Well, maybe we can keep faculty meetings on Zoom, that was a welcomed change. And now that Pallab is at the helm of the ISOM group at GMU, the lunch will only get better!!!

The goal of WAITS is to bring together like-minded IS scholars in the greater DC Metro area and facilitate inter-school dialogue and collaboration. While there are many business schools in the DMV, and many tremendous IS departments each with their own talented researchers, communication between the groups is limited. This stifles synergies, creative and innovative work, and the opportunity for each of us to learn from each other. It is the objective of WAITS to eliminate this problem by coming together every semester.

The Details

  • Who: IS scholars sharing good work
  • What: Well, the first bullet kind of got at it but I am stuck in the format
  • Where: Van Metre Hall, Room 113, Arlington Virginia
  • When: October 1st, Noon to 3pm!
  • Why: Because research never stops, just like the music.
  • Format: Little nosh (funded by our GMU hosts), two great talks (about an hour each), and then maybe happy hour. I cant WAITS to see you all!

Speakers

We are lucky to have two fantastic researchers giving talks.

Jessica M. Clark

Jessica Clark
University of Maryland

Altruistically Misinformed: Fighting Misinformation on Social Media with Prominence Reduction Strategies (co-authored with Maya Mudambi and Lauren Rhue)

Abstract
Misinformation often has dire real-world consequences, so user-generated content (UGC) platforms have adopted misinformation mitigation strategies aimed at protecting their users. We study Reddit’s quarantine policy, a prominence reduction strategy that reduces the visibility of misinformation on the platform. We empirically assess the effectiveness, as well as spillover effects, of quarantine. We conceptualize misinformation spreading within problematic communities as being motivated by impure altruistic preferences. We further conceptualize user reactions to quarantine using attachment theory. We find that for low-attachment behavior, quarantine diminishes misinformation contribution in the quarantined forum and pushes it to topically related but ideologically neutral forums. For high-attachment behavior, quarantine does not affect misinformation contribution in the quarantined forum but increases the dispersion of misinformation on the platform. Our research sheds light on the efficacy, as well as potentially unintended consequences, of using prominence reduction strategies to fight misinformation.

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Suprateek (Supra) Sarker
University of Virginia

DIGITALIZATION FOR A BETTER TOMORROW: THE ROLE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS SCHOLARS

Abstract
In this general talk, I will discuss, using an example of digital classrooms in schools that are being envisioned and implemented, some of the benefits and pitfalls of digitalization. I will argue that both the “pro-digitalization” and the “dark-side” narratives in the literature are incomplete, polarizing, and not particularly helpful. Indeed, I believe that IS scholars are in a unique position to offer a balanced perspective and to positively influence the role of digitalization in today’s organizations and society.