Skip to main content

Benjamin Mako Hill

Position

Associate Professor, Communication

Research Interests

Peer Production, Online Communities, Collective Action, Cooperation, Learning, Computer Mediated Communication

Preprints

Taboo and Collaborative Knowledge Production: Evidence from Wikipedia
Kaylea Champion, Benjamin Mako Hill
By definition, people are reticent or even unwilling to talk about taboo subjects. Because subjects like sexuality, health, and violence are taboo in most…

The Risks, Benefits, and Consequences of Prepublication Moderation: Evidence from 17 Wikipedia Language Editions
Chau Tran, Kaylea Champion, Benjamin Mako Hill, Rachel Greenstadt
Many online communities rely on postpublication moderation where contributors, even those that are perceived as being risky, are allowed to publish material…

Sources of Underproduction in Open Source Software
Kaylea Champion, Benjamin Mako Hill
Because open source software relies on individuals who select their own tasks, it is often underproduced -- a term used by software engineering researchers to…

How Interest-Driven Content Creation Shapes Opportunities for Informal Learning in Scratch: A Case Study on Novices' Use of Data Structures
Ruijia Cheng, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Benjamin Mako Hill
Through a mixed-method analysis of data from Scratch, we examine how novices learn to program with simple data structures by using community-produced learning…

No Community Can Do Everything: Why People Participate in Similar Online Communities
Nathan TeBlunthuis, Charles Kiene, Isabella Brown, Laura Alia Levi, Nicole McGinnis, Benjamin Mako Hill
Large-scale quantitative analyses have shown that individuals frequently talk to each other about similar things in different online spaces. Why do these…

Identifying Competition and Mutualism Between Online Groups
Nathan TeBlunthuis, Benjamin Mako Hill
Platforms often host multiple online groups with overlapping topics and members. How can researchers and designers understand how related groups affect each…

The Hidden Costs of Requiring Accounts: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From Peer Production
Benjamin Mako Hill, Aaron Shaw
Online communities, like Wikipedia, produce valuable public information goods. Whereas some of these communities require would-be contributors to create…

Qualities of Quality: A Tertiary Review of Software Quality Measurement Research
Kaylea Champion, Sejal Khatri, Benjamin Mako Hill
This paper presents a tertiary review of software quality measurement research. To conduct this review, we examined an initial dataset of 7,811 articles and…

Effects of algorithmic flagging on fairness: quasi-experimental evidence from Wikipedia
Nathan TeBlunthuis, Benjamin Mako Hill, Aaron Halfaker
Online community moderators often rely on social signals such as whether or not a user has an account or a profile page as clues that users may cause problems…

Underproduction: An Approach for Measuring Risk in Open Source Software
Kaylea Champion, Benjamin Mako Hill
The widespread adoption of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) means that the ongoing maintenance of many widely used software components relies on the…

Designing for Critical Algorithmic Literacies
Sayamindu Dasgupta, Benjamin Mako Hill
As pervasive data collection and powerful algorithms increasingly shape children's experience of the world and each other, their ability to interrogate…

How individual behaviors drive inequality in online community sizes: an agent-based simulation
Jeremy Foote, Nathan TeBlunthuis, Benjamin Mako Hill, Aaron Shaw
Why are online community sizes so extremely unequal? Most answers to this question have pointed to general mathematical processes drawn from physics like…

Are anonymity-seekers just like everybody else? An analysis of contributions to Wikipedia from Tor
Chau Tran, Kaylea Champion, Andrea Forte, Benjamin Mako Hill, Rachel Greenstadt
User-generated content sites routinely block contributions from users of privacy-enhancing proxies like Tor because of a perception that proxies are a source…

A Forensic Qualitative Analysis of Contributions to Wikipedia from Anonymity Seeking Users
Kaylea Champion, Nora McDonald, Stephanie Bankes, Joseph Zhang, Rachel Greenstadt, Andrea Forte, Benjamin Mako Hill
By choice or by necessity, some contributors to commons-based peer production sites use privacy-protecting services to remain anonymous. As anonymity seekers,…

A longitudinal dataset of five years of public activity in the Scratch online community
Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández
Scratch is a programming environment and an online community where young people can create, share, learn, and communicate. In collaboration with the Scratch…

Scratch Community Blocks: Supporting Children as Data Scientists
Sayamindu Dasgupta, Benjamin Mako Hill
In this paper, we present Scratch Community Blocks, a new system that enables children to programmatically access, analyze, and visualize data about their…

Surviving an "Eternal September" - How an Online Community Managed a Surge of Newcomers
Charles Kiene, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Benjamin Mako Hill
We present a qualitative analysis of interviews with participants in the NoSleep community within Reddit where millions of fans and writers of horror fiction…

Remixing as a Pathway to Computational Thinking
Sayamindu Dasgupta, William Hale, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Benjamin Mako Hill
Theorists and advocates of "remixing" have suggested that appropriation can act as a pathway for learning. We test this theory quantitatively using data from…

The Cost of Collaboration for Code and Art: Evidence from a Remixing Community
Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández
In this paper, we use evidence from a remixing community to evaluate two pieces of common wisdom about collaboration. First, we test the theory that jointly…

The Remixing Dilemma: The Trade-off Between Generativity and Originality
Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández
In this paper we argue that there is a trade-off between generativity and originality in online communities that support open collaboration. We build on…

Computers Can't Give Credit: How Automatic Attribution Falls Short in an Online Remixing Community
Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Benjamin Mako Hill, Jazmin Gonzalez-Rivero, Danah Boyd
In this paper, we explore the role that attribution plays in shaping user reactions to content reuse, or remixing, in a large user-generated content community…

Responses to remixing on a social media sharing website
Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Kristina R. Olson
In this paper we describe the ways participants of the Scratch online community, primarily young people, engage in remixing of each others' shared animations,…

WeDo: Exploring Participatory, End-To-End Collective Action
Haoqi Zhang, Andes Monroy-Hernandez, Aaron Shaw, Sean Munson, Liz Gerber, Benjamin Mako Hill, Peter Kinnaird, Shelly Farnham, Patrick Minder
Many celebrate the Internet's ability to connect individuals and facilitate collective action toward a common goal. While numerous systems have been designed…

Laboratories of Oligarchy? How the Iron Law Extends to Peer Production
Aaron Shaw, Benjamin Mako Hill
Peer production projects like Wikipedia have inspired voluntary associations, collectives, social movements, and scholars to embrace open online collaboration…