Dominic DiFranzo – Designing for Empathy on Social Media

Picture of Dominic DiFranzo

September 15, 6pm, online

Please Register


Modern design goals for social media platforms have focused on growth in terms of increasing user population and engagement, but are starting to show their growing pains with the widespread of hate speech, cyberbullying, and fake news. This design focus on growth at any cost is increasing the amount and reach of antisocial behavior online. In this talk, I will share my research in human-computer interactions that explores practical design interventions that encourage users to better empathize with one another. In my efforts to better implement and test these design interventions, I’ve developed new experimental tools and methods that create ecologically valid social media simulations, allowing researchers to conduct large-scale online social media experiments in a fully curated and controlled social media environment.


Dominic DiFranzo is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Lehigh University.  His research in human-computer interaction translates established social science theories into design interventions that encourage social media users to stand up to cyberbullies, fact check fake news stories, and engage in other prosocial actions. In his effort to better implement and test these design interventions, he has also developed new experimental tools and methods that create ecologically valid social media simulations, giving researchers control of both the technical interface and social situations found on social media platforms. His research has been published in numerous conferences and journals, including the ACM CHI Conference, the ACM CSCW Conference, the International World Wide Web Conference, and the ACM Web Sci Conference.


  • 6-6:30pm: Networking via virtual whiteboard and zoom
  • 6:30pm: Presentation
  • 7:30pm: Q&A


We will be using:

  • A Zoom meeting for the event
  • A Miro virtual whiteboard during the pre-talk networking

Links for both the Zoom meeting and the Miro whiteboard will be sent to registered attendees.


Thank you to our generous sponsor!