WebSci’22 Deadline Extended

We thank everyone who submitted their papers to this year’s ACM Web Science Conference. While the paper submission deadline has passed, it is still time to submit proposals for workshops or tutorials, to be held on site in Barcelona or online. The deadline for workshop and tutorial proposals has been extended to February 28 (23:59 anywhere on earth).


The 14th ACM Web Science Conference (WebSci’22) is soliciting proposals for workshops and tutorials that address the way Web Science research can illuminate key contemporary issues and global challenges. Workshops should reflect the inter- and multidisciplinary nature of Web Science. Tutorials could cover a wide variety of Web Science approaches and methods, including but not limited to techniques for data collection, processing, analysis, as well as substantive interpretation, best practices, and ethics. Examples of potential WebSci workshop areas include but are not limited to:
* Misinformation and propaganda on the Web
* Online health and wellness (especially concerning the COVID-19 pandemic)
* Online mental health
* The interplay between AI and the Web
* Using Web Science for social good
* Collective intelligence, crowdsourcing
* Bias on the Web
* Data ethics and algorithmic accountability
* Digital inequalities: access, quality, and participation
* Information privacy and cybersecurity
* Learning and education on the Web
* Social connections and social influence on the Web
* Social inclusion and exclusion on the Web
* Internet politics and political participation
* Internet, Globalization and Cultural Identities
* The evolution of social media services
* The future of the Web
* Cybercrime and safety
* Digital Humanitarianism
* ICT for development
* Climate Change and digital carbon footprints
* Paid and unpaid work, the gig economy
* Aging and generations (different practices and attitudes towards the Web)
* Global south and globalization
* Gender and sexualities (the Web as safe/unsafe space, space for mobilization)
Workshops and tutorials can be either on-site or fully online. A “call for papers/contributions” is optional. Workshops/tutorials with alternative interactive modes such as e.g. round table discussions or design/co-creation sessions can also be proposed. You can propose a program committee (PC) with content experts for your event.
When accepted, make sure your event is held in a timezone amenable to the participants. Each workshop or tutorial should have a web address containing all information about the venue, call for contributions, deadlines, modality, language etc. Workshops and tutorials can be held in any language.

* Proposals can be up to 3 pages long and should include the following information (please submit your proposal in English):
* Workshop/tutorial title.
* Workshop/tutorial summary (1-2 paragraphs).
* Workshop/tutorial description, including the motivation and goals of the proposal and its relevance to the field of Web Science.
* Workshop/tutorial schedule and activities, including the format, proposed activities (panels, sessions, interactive exercises, etc.), the invited speakers or panelists, the modality (on-site or online).
* Workshop/tutorial organizer information, including names, affiliations, emails, and personal websites. Please indicate who would be the primary contact person for the submission.
* Please indicate if the workshop has been run in the past.
* Target audience and audience size: the expected number and type of attendees and any information about the required skills or tools with which participants need to be familiar.
* The primary language(s) of the workshop/tutorial (i.e., English, Chinese).
* The desired time zone for the workshop/tutorial.
* The workshop/tutorial will be: (i) onsite in Barcelona or (ii) fully online?
* Special requirements or equipment, if any.


Proposals must be submitted to EasyChair by February 21, 2022, via: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=websci22

Workshop and tutorial proposals will be evaluated based on their relevance, timeliness, originality and the potential to address important questions and attract audiences from different disciplines. Relevance to the interdisciplinary field of Web Science is a prerequisite for all submissions. Workshop and tutorial notifications will be sent by March 7, 2022. If inviting peer-reviewed workshop papers, workshop organizers are requested to have the paper submission deadline in their workshops to be no later than April 9, 2022.

Workshop organizers are free to publish workshop proceedings. WebSci22 offers the possibility to include workshop papers as a companion collection of the ACM WebSci22 proceedings. In this case, workshop schedules must be aligned with the schedule for the publication of the overall proceedings, i.e. camera-ready papers need to be submitted to us by 12 May 2022. This is a strict deadline, and we will not be able to include any papers not received by this date.

IMPORTANT DATES (Workshops & Tutorials)
Feb 28, 2022: Workshop and Tutorial Proposal Submission Deadline (extended deadline, 23:59 anywhere on earth)
Mar 07, 2022: Notifications
Apr 09, 2022: Workshop Paper Submission Deadline
May 12, 2022: Camera-ready Deadline for the Companion Proceedings
Jun 26, 2022: workshop and tutorial day at WebSci’22 (Barcelona and online)

Workshop & Tutorial Track Chairs:
Anna Bon, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Srinath Srinivasa, International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, India

14th ACM Web Science Conference 2022 (WebSci’22)
26-29 June, 2022
26 June: Workshop and Tutorial day
Hybrid conference: Barcelona, Spain, and online (co-located with Hypertext 2022)
Deadline for proposing workshops + tutorials (extended): Feb 28, 2022 – 23:59 anywhere on earth

UTW Episode 35: Tim Berners-Lee

Inventing - and transforming - the World Wide Web

In this season finale, our guest is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. Tim is a professorial fellow of computer science at the University of Oxford and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He directs the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the continued development of the web. He also co-founded the World Wide Web Foundation and founded the Open Data Institute and the Web Science Trust. In 2004, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for services to the global development of the Internet. 

In this episode, Tim talks about the interdisciplinary nature of web science and the future of the web. He discusses misuse of the web, including the production of fake news and violent discourse, and hypothesizes ways to encourage more collaborative and democratic processes on the web and to hold social networks accountable. Finally, Tim discusses his efforts to decentralize the web – again – and his role in helping to create an ecosystem of institutions that nurture the growth of the web. 


WebSci21 – Video Vault No 6 – Daniel Weitzner

Daniel J. Weitzner


This talk presents new research in cyber security and privacy, offering a broad approach by which computer science can contribute systems that are better integrated with society’s public policy priorities. Our new approach to cyber security will provide previously unattainable cyber risk pricing metrics to guide private investment decisions, make cyber insurance markets more efficient, and shape cyber security regulations that are more effective. To address privacy needs, we propose changes to the underlying architecture of relational database systems to enable auditable conformance with state-of-the-art privacy values in laws such as the European Union General Data Protection Directive (GDPR). Taken together, this work suggests we can improve computing governance with new extensions of two key concepts in the theory of computation. First, we describe policy soundness: the property of a computing system that shows it is logically sound with respect to a given legal ruleset. Second, technical completeness: the property of a law or regulation which shows the rules are logically complete with respect to the dynamics of a given computing system. Building these kinds of abstractions into systems and laws can make computing systems more governable and thus more trustworthy.


In this talk Daniel J. Weitzner, discusses solutions to the need to balance technical architectures and services with the social (societal) needs and policies of the communities that use them. Underlying this relationship is the need to model and automatically validate that secure systems are compliant and consistent with the policies under which they operate.

About the Video Vault Series

In partnership with the ACM we are pleased to be able to release a series of videos from the most recent Web Science Conference (ACM WebSci’21) that were previously only available to attendees of the conference.

The series will be released fortnightly and will include a selection of Keynote talks and Spotlight panel discussions.

Copyright / Links

This video is (c) 2021 provided under license from the ACM.


Government agencies are tapping a facial recognition company to prove you’re you – here’s why that raises concerns about privacy, accuracy and fairness


 Beginning this summer, you might need to upload a selfie and a photo ID to a private company, ID.me, if you want to file your taxes online.

Oscar Wong/Moment via Getty Images

James Hendler, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is planning to require citizens to create accounts with a private facial recognition company in order to file taxes online. The IRS is joining a growing number of federal and state agencies that have contracted with ID.me to authenticate the identities of people accessing services.

The IRS’s move is aimed at cutting down on identity theft, a crime that affects millions of Americans. The IRS, in particular, has reported a number of tax filings from people claiming to be others, and fraud in many of the programs that were administered as part of the American Relief Plan has been a major concern to the government.

The IRS decision has prompted a backlash, in part over concerns about requiring citizens to use facial recognition technology and in part over difficulties some people have had in using the system, particularly with some state agencies that provide unemployment benefits. The reaction has prompted the IRS to revisit its decision.

a webpage with the IRS logo in the top left corner and buttons for creating or logging into an account




Here’s what greets you when you click the link to sign into your IRS account. If current plans remain in place, the blue button will go away in the summer of 2022.
Screenshot, IRS sign-in webpage

As a computer science researcher and the chair of the Global Technology Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery, I have been involved in exploring some of the issues with government use of facial recognition technology, both its use and its potential flaws. There have been a great number of concerns raised over the general use of this technology in policing and other government functions, often focused on whether the accuracy of these algorithms can have discriminatory affects. In the case of ID.me, there are other issues involved as well.

ID dot who?

ID.me is a private company that formed as TroopSwap, a site that offered retail discounts to members of the armed forces. As part of that effort, the company created an ID service so that military staff who qualified for discounts at various companies could prove they were, indeed, service members. In 2013, the company renamed itself ID.me and started to market its ID service more broadly. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs began using the technology in 2016, the company’s first government use.

To use ID.me, a user loads a mobile phone app and takes a selfie – a photo of their own face. ID.me then compares that image to various IDs that it obtains either through open records or through information that applicants provide through the app. If it finds a match, it creates an account and uses image recognition for ID. If it cannot perform a match, users can contact a “trusted referee” and have a video call to fix the problem.

A number of companies and states have been using ID.me for several years. News reports have documented problems people have had with ID.me failing to authenticate them, and with the company’s customer support in resolving those problems. Also, the system’s technology requirements could widen the digital divide, making it harder for many of the people who need government services the most to access them.

But much of the concern about the IRS and other federal agencies using ID.me revolves around its use of facial recognition technology and collection of biometric data.

Accuracy and bias

To start with, there are a number of general concerns about the accuracy of facial recognition technologies and whether there are discriminatory biases in their accuracy. These have led the Association for Computing Machinery, among other organizations, to call for a moratorium on government use of facial recognition technology.

A study of commercial and academic facial recognition algorithms by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that U.S. facial-matching algorithms generally have higher false positive rates for Asian and Black faces than for white faces, although recent results have improved. ID.me claims that there is no racial bias in its face-matching verification process.

There are many other conditions that can also cause inaccuracy – physical changes caused by illness or an accident, hair loss due to chemotherapy, color change due to aging, gender conversions and others. How any company, including ID.me, handles such situations is unclear, and this is one issue that has raised concerns. Imagine having a disfiguring accident and not being able to log into your medical insurance company’s website because of damage to your face.




Facial recognition technology is spreading fast. Is the technology – and society – ready?

Data privacy

There are other issues that go beyond the question of just how well the algorithm works. As part of its process, ID.me collects a very large amount of personal information. It has a very long and difficult-to-read privacy policy, but essentially while ID.me doesn’t share most of the personal information, it does share various information about internet use and website visits with other partners. The nature of these exchanges is not immediately apparent.

So one question that arises is what level of information the company shares with the government, and whether the information can be used in tracking U.S. citizens between regulated boundaries that apply to government agencies. Privacy advocates on both the left and right have long opposed any form of a mandatory uniform government identification card. Does handing off the identification to a private company allow the government to essentially achieve this through subterfuge? It’s not difficult to imagine that some states – and maybe eventually the federal government – could insist on an identification from ID.me or one of its competitors to access government services, get medical coverage and even to vote.

As Joy Buolamwini, an MIT AI researcher and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, argued, beyond accuracy and bias issues is the question of the right not to use biometric technology. “Government pressure on citizens to share their biometric data with the government affects all of us — no matter your race, gender, or political affiliations,” she wrote.

Too many unknowns for comfort

Another issue is who audits ID.me for the security of its applications? While no one is accusing ID.me of bad practices, security researchers are worried about how the company may protect the incredible level of personal information it will end up with. Imagine a security breach that released the IRS information for millions of taxpayers. In the fast-changing world of cybersecurity, with threats ranging from individual hacking to international criminal activities, experts would like assurance that a company provided with so much personal information is using state-of-the-art security and keeping it up to date.

[Over 140,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletters to understand the world. Sign up today.]

Much of the questioning of the IRS decision comes because these are early days for government use of private companies to provide biometric security, and some of the details are still not fully explained. Even if you grant that the IRS use of the technology is appropriately limited, this is potentially the start of what could quickly snowball to many government agencies using commercial facial recognition companies to get around regulations that were put in place specifically to rein in government powers.

The U.S. stands at the edge of a slippery slope, and while that doesn’t mean facial recognition technology shouldn’t be used at all, I believe it does mean that the government should put a lot more care and due diligence into exploring the terrain ahead before taking those critical first steps.The Conversation

James Hendler, Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

James Hendler, Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

Deadline Extension WebSci’22


Dear colleagues,

to better align with the deadlines of our co-located conferences, we are extending the deadline for paper submissions for #WebSci22 to Feb 17 (23:59 anywhere on earth).
Workshops and tutorials can also still be proposed until Feb 21.

The 14th ACM Web Science Conference (#WebSci22) will take place on 26 – 29 June 2022 as a Hybrid Conference in Barcelona, Spain, and online.
ACM’s Conferences #HT2022 and #UMAP2022 will also be hosted in Barcelona a few days after #WebSci22.

WebSci’22 is an interdisciplinary conference where a multitude of research disciplines converge with the purpose of creating greater insight into a complex global Web than the sum of their individual parts. We invite participation from diverse fields including computer and information sciences, communication, economics, informatics, law, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Please carefully check the conference Website for information on formatting and templates. Review is double-blind. Proceedings will be published open access through ACM’s OpenTOC system. For authors who wish to opt out of publication proceedings, this option will be made available upon acceptance.
For full details about submission formats and topical scope, please see the call for papers at: https://websci22.webscience.org/calls-guidelines/call-for-papers/

IMPORTANT DATES: Paper Submissions
Feb 17, 2022: Paper submission deadline (extended)
Mar 31, 2022: Notification
May 12, 2022: Camera-ready versions due
Jun 26-29 22: Conference dates (Barcelona and online)

IMPORTANT DATES: Workshops & Tutorials
Feb 21, 2022: Workshop and Tutorial Proposal Submission Deadline
Mar 07, 2022: Notifications
Apr 09, 2022: Workshop Paper Submission Deadline
May 12, 2022: Camera-ready Deadline for the Companion Proceedings
Jun 26, 2022: workshop and tutorial day at WebSci’22 (Barcelona and online)


Oshani Seneviratne (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Ingmar Weber (Qatar Computing Research Institute)
Taha Yasseri (University College Dublin)

For any questions and queries regarding the paper submission, please contact the pc chairs at websci22@easychair.org

Anna Bon, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Srinath Srinivasa, International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, India
CONTACT: websci22-workshops-tutorials@easychair.org


14th ACM Web Science Conference 2022 (WebSci’22)
26-29 June, 2022
Hybrid conference: Barcelona, Spain, and online
co-located with ACM Hypertext and ACM UMAP
Deadline for paper submissions (extended): Feb 17, 2022 (23:59 anywhere on earth)
Deadline for workshop/tutorial proposals: Feb 21, 2022