Assistant Professor

Gender transition and social media

Social computing technologies, such as social media sites, often privilege people who fit within expected and unchanging categories. Thus, designing technology and social media flexible enough to allow for representation of complex identities that emerge as people embark on major life transitions, such as changing gender, is a particular challenge. Because little is known about how transgender people navigate gender transition on social media, this work seeks to understand challenges and opportunities related to this experience. Examining the relationships between issues including disclosure, self-presentation, emotional wellbeing, and social support on social media sites for transgender and non-binary users is fundamentally important on its own accord, but can also inform technology design that will benefit people who struggle with navigating a wide range of major identity changes online.

Selected Publications

Tumblr was a Trans Technology: The Meaning, Importance, History, and Future of Trans Technologies
Oliver L. Haimson, Avery Dame-Griff, Elias Capello, Zahari Richter
Feminist Media Studies, published online first October 2019, 17 pages
[open-access link] [PDF] [blog]

Mapping Gender Transition Sentiment Patterns via Social Media Data: Toward Decreasing Transgender Mental Health Disparities
Oliver L. Haimson
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) (special issue on Health Informatics and Health Equity: Improving Our Reach and Impact), 26(8-9), August/September 2019 (first published online May 2019), p. 749-758
[open-access link] [PDF] [blog]

Social Media as Social Transition Machinery
Oliver L. Haimson
Proceedings of the ACM Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI), 2(CSCW), Article 63, November 2018, 26 pages
[acceptance rate: 26%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention]
[link] [PDF] [blog]

The Social Complexities of Transgender Identity Disclosure on Social Media
Oliver L. Haimson
Doctoral dissertation
University of California, Irvine, 2018

Trans Identity and Digital Spaces (part of "A conversation: Queer digital media resources and research")
Oliver L. Haimson
First Monday (special issue on Queer Internet Studies), 23(7), July 2018
[open-access link]

Digital and Physical Barriers to Changing Identities
Oliver L. Haimson
XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, Winter 2017
[link] [PDF]

Changes in Social Media Affect, Disclosure, and Sociality for a Sample of Transgender Americans in 2016’s Political Climate
Oliver L. Haimson, Gillian R. Hayes
ICWSM Conference on Web and Social Media, May 2017
[acceptance rate: 14%]
[link] [PDF] [blog]

Digital Footprints and Changing Networks During Online Identity Transitions
Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2016
[acceptance rate: 23%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention]
[link] [PDF]

Online Inspiration and Exploration for Identity Reinvention
Oliver L. Haimson, Anne E. Bowser, Edward F. Melcer, Elizabeth F. Churchill
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2015
[acceptance rate: 23%]
[link] [PDF]

User Response to Facebook’s Custom Gender Options
Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Courtney Loder, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes iConference, March 2015

Disclosure, Stress, and Support During Gender Transition on Facebook
Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes
ACM CSCW Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, March 2015
[acceptance rate: 28%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention]
[link] [PDF]