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Seminar: The Rise and Fall of Online Trust

Yixuan Zhang

Ph.D. Candidate, Human-Centered Computing
Georgia Tech

Thursday, February 16, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
via Zoom


Online trust is becoming a central issue in modern society. Trusting fallacies can harm the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole, especially during crises like COVID-19. During crises, the inconclusive, conflicting, and time-sensitive information created by varied sources and disseminated on diverse platforms can engender a sense of confusion and uncertainty. This uncertainty makes it difficult for people to determine what and whom they should trust. In this talk, I will share several empirical studies to answer: how people form and develop their online trust over time and how content producers (human & AI) approach "trustworthy" design. I will then discuss ongoing and future efforts in building tools to address issues of online trust, investigating the risks of AI to prevent "manipulating" trust, and developing theoretical frameworks to guide rigorous future research.


Yixuan "Janice" Zhang is a PhD candidate in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Tech. Her research broadly lies in human-computer interaction (HCI), data visualization (VIS), equitable computing, and the interdisciplinary fields of crisis informatics and health informatics. She regularly publishes in premier HCI and visualization venues, such as ACM, CHI, CSCW and IEEE VIS. Her research has been well recognized by academia: she was named a Rising Star in EECS 2022, and selected as a Foley Scholar (the highest award for student excellence in research contributions to computing at Georgia Tech). The impact of her research extends beyond academia; for example, she was invited to present her work to broader audiences, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). More information is available at