Co-creating a Transdisciplinary Map of Technology-mediated Harms, Risks and Vulnerabilities: Challenges, Ambivalences and Opportunities

Andrés Domínguez Hernández, Kopo M. Ramokapane, Partha Das Chowdhury, Ola Michalec, Emily Johnstone, Emily Godwin, Alicia G. Cork, Awais Rashid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The phrase "online harms'' has emerged in recent years out of a growing political willingness to address the ethical and social issues associated with the use of the Internet and digital technology at large. The broad landscape that surrounds online harms gathers a multitude of disciplinary, sectoral and organizational efforts while raising myriad challenges and opportunities for the crossing entrenched boundaries. In this paper we draw lessons from a journey of co-creating a transdisciplinary knowledge infrastructure within a large research initiative animated by the online harms agenda. We begin with a reflection of the implications of mapping, taxonomizing and constructing knowledge infrastructures and a brief review of how online harm and adjacent themes have been theorized and classified in the literature to date. Grounded on our own experience of co-creating a map of online harms, we then argue that the map - -and the process of mapping - -perform three mutually constitutive functions, acting simultaneously as method, medium and provocation. We draw lessons from how an open-ended approach to mapping, despite not guaranteeing consensus, can foster productive debate and collaboration in ethically and politically fraught areas of research. We end with a call for CSCW research to surface and engage with the multiple temporalities, social lives and political sensibilities of knowledge infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3610179
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2023

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  • co-creation
  • online harm
  • knowledge infrastructures
  • co-creation, online harm, knowledge infrastructure, interdisciplinary research


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