charles kiene

Hello, you found my personal website.

I’m Charlie.

I am a MA/PhD student in the Communication Department at the University of Washington.

From Reddit subcommunities to Discord servers to World of Warcraft guilds, my research interests lie in the strategies of governance and organizing in online communities, especially when they experience massive change, like user influxes, platform shifts, new technologies, mergers, or an exodus of community members. I’m also interested in the technologies online communities use to organize, such as bots for automating redundant aspects of moderation work, communication applications and the role of voice calls, and other forms of end-user programming that allow online groups to govern and defend their digital boundaries. My future work seeks to evaluate how online communities manage and make sense of internal conflicts and disputes over self-governance, as well as conflicts with other communities and how social boundaries are maintained or change from interactions with mutual or competing groups.

I use a variety of research strategies including both qualitative and quantitative methods, but most of my past work has involved in-depth interviewing and ethnography.

Currently, I’m working on two separate projects. The first is an analysis between 1) the sets of rules self-governing communities on Reddit choose to moderator content and behavior and 2) the position of each community within an affiliation network of co-moderated subreddit communities. The second project I”m working on seeks to explore the phenomenon of “forking” applied to online discussion communities and understand why some online communities that have forked are more successful than others.

Research Papers

C. Kiene and B. Hill. 2020. Who Uses Bots? A Statistical Analysis of Bot Usage in Moderation Teams. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–8.

C. Kiene, Jialun “Aaron” Jiang, and B. Hill. 2019. “Technological Frames and User Innovation: Exploring Technological Change in Community Moderation Teams.” Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 3, CSCW, Article 44 (November 2019), 23 pages. PDF

Jialun “Aaron” Jiang, C. Kiene, S. Middler, J. R. Brubaker, and C. Fiesler. 2019. Moderation Challenges in Voice-based Online Communities on Discord. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 3, CSCW , Article 55 (November 2019), 23 pages. PDF

C. Kiene, A. Shaw, and B. Hill, “Organizational Culture in Online Group Mergers” in Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 2, CSCW, Article 89, New York, NY, USA, Nov 2018. PDF

C. Kiene, A. Monroy-Hernández, and B. Hill, “Surviving an ‘Eternal September’: How an Online Community Managed a Surge of Newcomers,” in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16), San Jose, California, USA, May 2016. PDF


C. Kiene, E. Chandrasekharan, J. Seering, S. Gilbert, S. Jhaver, B. Dosono, A. Jiang, K. Lo, Y. Wohn, B. Dym, and K. Shores, “Volunteer Work: Mapping the Future of Moderation Research.” in CSCW ’19 Companion, Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion Publication, Nov 2019.

T. Bipat, B. Hecht, C. Kiene, D. McDonald, M. Zachry, “Navigating the Challenges of Multi-Site Research,” in CSCW 2018, Workshops, New York, NY, USA, Nov 2018.