Research

For an up-to-date list of publications, please visit my Google Scholar profile.

Digital inequalities & discrimination in online labor markets

I am currently working on multiple projects examining various inequalities in online labor markets. This is a term I use to describe all platforms where people can generate some sort of income. This includes sharing economy platforms (e.g. Airbnb, Uber), crowd work platforms (e.g. Amazon Mechanical Turk), and other gig economy platforms (e.g. TaskRabbit).

Unpaid labor on the Internet

In addition to paid labor, I am interested in the workings of various forms of unpaid labor. Most recently, I looked at predictors for unpaid online content production, such as editing Wikipedia pages or answering questions on Q&A sites like Quora.

Fiers, F., Shaw, A., & Hargittai, E. (2021). Generous Attitudes and Online Participation. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media1. https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2021.008

Earlier, as part of my undergraduate work, I examined how Instagram users employ the platform’s tagging features to claim and seek status. It reveals that the perfecting of one’s online presentation does not only happen by producing a high-status image, but also by concealing the “inauthentic” nature of this production.
This paper came out of my undergraduate summer research fellowship and honors project at St. Lawrence University, for which Dr. Stephen Barnard served as my advisor.

Fiers, F. (2020). Hiding Traces of Status Seeking: Contradictory Tagging Strategies on Instagram. Social Media + Societyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120937318