Google Research

Spam in User Generated Content Platforms: Developing the HaBuT Instrument to Measure User Experience

IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, IEEE (2019) (to appear)


We are in an era of user-generated content (UGC) but our understanding of the impact of UGC spam on user experience is limited. Most prior instruments to measure user experience were developed in the context of traditional spam types like web-spam or email-spam. In this paper, we develop the 15 item HaBuT scale, consisting of three sub-scales: Happiness, Burden and Trust that measures user experience with respect to UGC spam. The items in the instrument are analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis with a sample of 700 responses from internet users. This process resulted in an instrument of high reliability and validity. The instrument is a valuable tool for researchers and practitioners interested in designing, implementing, and managing systems that rely on user-generated content and to those studying the impact of UGC spam on user experience. We demonstrate a real-world application of the HaBuT scale by applying it to investigate the impact of review spam on mobile apps users. We present the study results of online experiments with 3300 participants across US, India and South Korea.

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