Daniel S. Griffin

Dissertation Research

My dissertation research looks at how data engineers think about and use web search in/at/for work.

I’m currently recruiting interview participants.


I’m a Ph.D. candidate at the UC-Berkeley School of Information where I use interviews and digital ethnography to research conceptions of search engines, web search practices, and their entanglement with societal values.

I co-directed UC Berkeley’s Center for Technology, Society & Policy from July 2017 to August 2019. I finished the Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program at the I School in 2016.

Prior to graduate school I was an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army. As an undergraduate, I studied philosophy at Whitworth University. In my free time I enjoy trail running.

Work Published

What are search results? What are the human rights obligations of search engines?

Search engines no longer merely shape public understanding and access to the content of the World Wide Web: they shape public understanding of the world. . . .

Mulligan, Deirdre K. and Griffin, Daniel S., Rescripting Search to Respect the Right to Truth. 2 GEO. L. TECH. REV. 557 (2018).

See more on Rescripting here!

- Controlling social media algorithms

Do users control the algorithms?

Recent interest in ethical AI has brought a slew of values, including fairness, into conversations about technology design. Research in the area of algorithmic fairness tends to be rooted in questions of distribution that can be subject to precise formalism and technical implementation. We seek to expand this conversation to include the experiences of people subject to algorithmic classification and decision-making.

Jenna Burrell, Zoe Kahn, Anne Jonas, and Daniel Griffin. 2019. When Users Control the Algorithms: Values Expressed in Practices on Twitter. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 3, CSCW, Article 138 (November 2019), 20 pages. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3359240