November 02, 2018
After a long delay, our paper: A user-driven free speech application for anonymous and verified online, public group discourse has finally been published in the Journal of Internet Services and Applications.
Online social networks are major hubs of communications that are used to share information by societies worldwide. However, the ability to freely communicate on these platforms is increasingly restricted in countries across the globe and existing technological solutions do not fully address the needs of affected communities.
In this paper we explore the design process of SecurePost, a novel tool that allows verified group anonymity to those communicating publicly on online social networks. We present survey-based research and ethnographic interviews of communities vulnerable to censorship conducted in Zambia, Turkey, and Mongolia between 2013 to 2016.
We use analysis of this data to ground our work. We explore needs and requirements of users such as modes of censorship, resistance to network disruption, and appropriate platform consideration. We outline our technological solution and expand on how on-the-ground research of user communities guides technological requirements.
You can also read it open access on Springer.