“When the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”



Media, Interaction & Technology

People | Research | Publications | [email protected]










Collaborators & Friends

Huilian (Sophie) Qiu

PhD Student
[email protected]


Ulla Autenrieth

Head of Research
Institute for Multimedia Production
University of Applied Sciences,
Graubünden, Switzerland

Elke Schlote

Research Assistant
Institute for Educational Sciences
University of Basel, Switzerland

Axel Schmidt

Head of Project “Multimodal Interaction”
Institute for the German Language
University of Mannheim, Germany


Crystal Li

REU Student 2021
University of Pittsburgh

[email protected]


Maya De Los Santos

REU Student 2021
Northeastern University
[email protected]

We collaborate with other research labs:  






Media. Our research focuses on mostly qualitative approaches to study the creation, consumption, and distribution of all kinds of digital media formats and digital media art by amateurs and professionals.


Interaction. We analyze social and cultural aspects of human-computer interaction, human-media interaction, and interactions of individuals about digital media and technology.


Technology. We are interested in understanding people’s practices and strategies in using digital technology to create, consume, and distribute digital media artifacts.


Creative Practices on TikTok.
We are interested in better understanding and analyzing users’ motivations behind participating in short-form video creation. For example, we conduct interviews with amateur users to find out about their creative practices when deciding to make videos, the steps they follow in video making, the rationales of posting and sharing videos, their understanding and imagination of potential social media audiences, and their sense of participating in community building through video creation and sharing.
[example:  NCA paper, 2020 (PDF)]


Understanding TikTok’s Algorithm.
Social media algorithms are generally invisible mechanisms within socio-technical systems that can influence how we perceive and interact with reality online and offline. We apply mixed-method approaches, for example, conducting interviews with TikTok users and collecting video meta data from TikTok to analyze how users’ assumptions about the algorithm shape their online behavior when they create and share short video content. This includes, for example, looking at how users utilize popular sounds and hashtags for their videos to be picked up by the TikTok algorithm and subsequently go viral.
[example: WebSci’21 paper, 2021 (PDF)]


Social Activism on TikTok.
Just like other social media platforms, TikTok is used for many kinds of activism. We want to generate a better understanding about who posts social activism content to analyze the patterns and processes users utilize to carry out their work. We are conducting interviews with TikTok users and apply qualitative content analysis to look at personal motivations, community seeking and networking, and visual communication strategies in the context of social media-based social activism on TikTok.
[example: CSCW poster, 2021 (PDF)]
[review in “Understanding TikTok”, Newsletter 47]

News Presentation on TikTok.

Social media is increasingly becoming a major source of information, especially for younger people. With TikTok being the most popular app, we are analyzing the presence of U.S. national and regional print and TV news providers (legacy news and online-first news) and apply exemplary content and profile analysis to determine presentation styles and visual communication strategies.
[example: MPCA talk, 2020 (PDF)]

Digital Well-Being on TikTok.

TikTok user experiences are often characterized by endless swiping through algorithmically catered video feeds designed to meet users’ individual entertainment preferences. In this, users tend to get hooked on viewing habits and neglect digital wellbeing as part of social media usage. We are conducting interviews with TikTok users to analyze their viewing habits and their attitudes towards digital wellbeing as part of their user experience. We want to design useful interventions to create a healthier and more ethical ways of interacting and engaging with TikTok in relation to digital wellbeing.
[example: REU poster, 2021 (PDF)]

Privacy Perception on TikTok.

TikTok has very long and complex privacy policies that users need to agree to in order to use the app, but more specifically: in order to have best possible experiences when watching short-video content. We are interested in users’ attitudes towards the inevitable trade-off between allowing TikTok to largely access user and phone data versus receiving highly optimized and individually catered video feeds as highly satisfying consumer experiences.
[example:  MUM paper, 2021 (PDF)]
[sponsor presentation slides]

#Video Annotation

TRAVIS GO is a free web application for simple and collaborative video annotation that makes it easier to work with audiovisual media products (such as a movie clip, a music video, or a commercial). The web application provides basic analytical features in an adaptable work space. Key didactic features include tagging and commenting on posts, sharing and exporting projects, and working in live collaboration.
Projects around audio or video material can be created in just a few steps on a laptop or tablet. Projects can be designed with existing teaching material or created entirely new in TRAVIS GO. The web application allows for subject-specific work in school lessons, for example, in Language classes, History, Music Education, or Arts. TRAVIS GO supports collaborative work in the classroom and in self-study phases.
[example: ECSCW paper, 2021 (PDF)]
–>  TRAVIS GO app
–> TRAVIS GO homepage







Publications & Presentations

Daniel Klug, Yiluo Qin, Morgan Evans, and Geoff Kaufman. 2021. Trick and Please. A Mixed-Method Study On User Assumptions About the TikTok Algorithm. In 13th ACM Web Science Conference 2021 (WebSci ’21), June 21–25, 2021, Virtual Event, United Kingdom. ACM, New York, NY, USA. (PDF).

Maya De Los Santos, Daniel Klug. 2021. The TikTok Tradeoff: Compelling Algorithmic Content at the Expense of Personal Privacy. In 20th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2021), December 5–8, 2021, Leuven, Belgium. ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Daniel Klug. 2021. Preventing Viral Distribution of Hateful Content on Social Media. Eradicate Hate Global Summit 2021. Poster Session. Pittsburgh. October 18–20, 2021. (PDF).

Daniel Le Compte, Daniel Klug. 2021. It’s Viral!” A Study of the Behaviors, Practices, and Motivations of TikTok Users and Social Activism. In Companion Publication of the 2021 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’21 Companion), October 23–27, 2021, Virtual Event, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA. (PDF).

Maya De Los Santos. 2021. User Perception of Privacy on TikTok. REUSE 2021 Poster Session, Carnegie Mellon University. August 4, 2021.  (PDF).

Crystal Li. 2021. Digital Wellbeing and User Experiences on TikTok. REUSE 2021 Poster Session, Carnegie Mellon University. August 4, 2021.  (PDF).

Huilian Sophie Qiu, Daniel Klug. 2021. MOTIVATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR VIRTUAL GIFT-GIVING IN DOUYIN LIVE STREAMS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research (22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers). (PDF).

Daniel Klug, Elke Schlote. 2021. Designing a Web Application for Simple and Collaborative Video Annotation That Meets Teaching Routines and Educational Requirements. In Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work.  European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET), ISSN2510-2591. https://doi:10.18420/ecscw2021_ep15. (PDF).

Daniel Klug. 2020. “Jump in and be part of the fun”. How News Providers Use and Adapt to TikTok. Paper presented at Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association Annual Conference  (MPCA/ACA), Minneapolis (virtual), Oct. 1–4, 2020. (PDF).

Daniel Klug. 2020. “It took me almost 30 minutes to practice this”. Performance and Production Practices in Dance Challenge Videos on TikTok. NCA 106th Annual Convention: Communication at the Crossroad. Virtual Event. November 19 – 22, 2020. arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.13040. (PDF).

Hongbo Fang, Daniel Klug, Hemank Lamba, James Herbsleb, & Bogdan Vasilescu. 2020. Need for tweet: How open source developers talk about their GitHub work on Twitter. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories  (pp. 322-326). (PDF).



Work With Us

The MINT Lab is a growing group of researchers and students from various disciplines and backgrounds.
We are always interested in new projects and interdisciplinary approaches to analyze all kinds of intersections of media, interaction, and technology.
If you are a student, researcher, faculty member, journalist, or coming from industry etc. and are interested to work with us
simply send an email to [email protected].


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“Mirror mirror” by misha_tokyo is licensed with CC BY 2.0.;