A Taxonomy of Inclusiveness

Published on
12-01-2024
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Aisys
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This paper is available on arxiv under CC 4.0 license.

Authors:

(1) Nowshin Nawar Arony;

(2) Ze Shi Li;

(3) Bowen Xu;

(4) Daniela Damian.

Abstract & Introduction

Motivation

Related Work

Methodology

A Taxonomy of Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness Concerns in Different Types of Apps

Inclusiveness Across Different Sources of User Feedback

Automated Identification of Inclusiveness User Feedback

Discussion

Conclusion & References

5 A TAXONOMY OF INCLUSIVENESS

To answer our first research question What are the different types of inclusiveness related user feedback found on online sources?, our in-depth analysis of 4,647 discussions from Reddit, 4,949 from App reviews, and 13,511 from Twitter identified a total of 1,211 inclusivess-related posts: 712 from Reddit, 377 from Google Play Store, and 116 from Twitter. Using STGT we derived 6 categories and associated sub-categories of inclusiveness from the three sources and integrated them into a taxonomy of inclusiveness from end user feedback, as illustrated in Figure 4. In this section, we describe each category with examples from our analysis, indicating in brackets the percentage from each source (while R refers to Reddit and A to app reviews from Google play store, X symbolizes results from Twitter). We note that the reason behind the smaller number of inclusiveness related user feedback from Twitter is due to the presence of posts that are either ads or pertain to some social or political topic rather than the app itself.

5.1 Fairness

The fairness category covers any user feedback where a user describes unfair behaviour or treatment during app usage. It is the most common category and accounts for almost a third of all inclusiveness concerns (R: 29.5%, A: 33.42%, X: 15.6% ). Specifically, fairness includes instances where users encounter unfair behaviour from the software, such as bans/restrictions that they cannot resolve or unwanted recommendations. We found that fairness usually concerns three sub-categories: Terms/Conditions, Recommendation, and Services.


5.1.0.1 Terms/Conditions: We observe users frequently complain about unjustified banning or restriction of their accounts. These bans are often a result of the terms and conditions enforced by the software organizations.


(Reddit) - “I got banned on YouTube because of malware on my [laptop] and they uploaded scam videos on my account and I got terminated. Ive got rid of the malware and I requested an appeal now they wont give me my account back.” (Youtube) (Twitter) - “... I am limited still unable to follow. Shadowed or limited since 2015. #twitter” (Twitter)


Fig. 4. Taxonomy for Inclusiveness related user feedback from an analysis of Reddit, Google Play and Twitter

Fig. 4. Taxonomy for Inclusiveness related user feedback from an analysis of Reddit, Google Play and Twitter


(Play Store) - “I didn’t get a account [warning] they just permanently banned me without giving me a warning and it’s not my fault kids kept saying ”You’re 7 8 10” and they don’t get banned wow and I want my account back I lost 1k followers and it’s not my fault so 1 star for now I try to download my data and make a new account that won’t work” (TikTok)


These quotes from the three sources exemplify similar types of issues: perception that the software apps are not fairly treating end users and that there is little transparency for what transpired. In the YouTube example, the user feels that it is unjustified for terminating their account for a malware that they did not cause. In the Twitter example, the user describes a limited/shadow banned user experience, and in the Tiktok example, the user describes an account banning without any kind of warning. The commonality between the behaviour of the apps is that account restrictions do not seem impartial. It seems in these scenarios that the apps also suffer from a lack of additional support for users to appeal their case.


(Reddit) - “Facebook disabled both me and my wife’s accounts for infringing someone else’s intellectual property rights. We never done anything wrong. We admin and manage several groups on Facebook in which members post goods etc. When Facebook send any notifications we go and check and if necessary we remove and ban those members on those specific groups.” (Facebook)


(Twitter) - “... I like how I have been signed out and forced to change my password to something else. ... I’d hate to have to cancel my subscription over a forced password changed.” (Hulu)


(Reddit) - “So i reported the bots that mass spammed people and the fake link posing as the real account, and what does facebook do? Nothing, refused my report and said it didn’t go against community guidelines. It’s really weird a huge site like Facebook let scams go untouched, and with the system in place you cannot actually ask them directly or explain the situation. ” (Facebook)


In these examples, we see further examples of users complaining about the perceived lack of fairness in their user experience. Account restrictions and limitations often stem from company policies and are carried out by automated decision-making algorithms, frequently in the form of bots. Software organizations often employ these bots to automatically resolve potential account issues and flag infringing accounts. However, it appears from the perspective of users, many feel that there exists algorithmic bias.


5.1.0.2 Recommendation: We uncovered several users expressing frustration with the automated recommendations in the apps. We found this occurring frequently as software apps use machine learning to recommend services or content to users. Users start complaining when they feel that these machine learning systems fail to consider their preferences, which occurs when an app unexpectedly and continuously suggests content that the user does not want to see. When this happens and is not rectified by the app developer, it may cause the user to feel that the app is unfairly treating the user. The recommendations may pertain to content that users did not subscribe to or have marked as unwanted. In addition, they may be subjected to unwanted ads, leading to a feeling of exclusion and causing them to leave the app entirely.


(Play Store) - “Worst recommendations on the app. I am spending so much time to see videos on the Fb. I have noticed facebook recommends me the videos that i don’t want to see... Every time i am blocking the video page but still it recommends.” (Facebook)


(Reddit) - “... recently my [Timeline] is full of random reels and post from people I dont follow. Does anyone know how fix this in settings? Its very annoying and usually leads me to closing the app after about 5 minutes.” (Instagram)


(Play Store) - “... this app forces you to see [specific news channel] content. You partner with these trash news sites but not enough good ones to round it out. Please stop pushing these machine generated news sites so hard on those who actively don’t want it.” (Robinhood)


(Twitter) - “... Im about to delete all other platforms because of the amount of adds. Also, dont really care for meta. Hope to be more active here :) #twitter” (Twitter)


(Twitter) - “I just want to say [redacted] #HULU for throwing ads into the middle of a documentary you released about 9/11! Immediately canceling my subscription. Unbelievable and so god damn heartless” (Hulu)


5.1.0.3 Service: The service sub-category comprises any inclusiveness feedback related to customer support issues with an app. Although many software apps are straightforward to use and require little manual intervention from app developers in everyday usage, occasional situations become awry, and users interact with customer service or support. Essentially, to foster an inclusive user experience, users should have access to reliable customer service that can help fix user problems when they occur. However, we observe a number of complaints from users about how they receive unfair treatment from app developer representatives who cannot or do not want to resolve conflicts. This impacts user’s ability to continue using the app. In particularly challenging circumstances, users find it difficult to contact customer support to report their problems.


(Play Store) - “Venmo just does not seem to work. I have called customer service and they were useless. They have no idea how their product works. I can no longer make purchases and this is made everything difficult. After this experience I would actually recommend people just start deleting this app. It kind of sad because it was useful until the latest update now I can even connect my account. If I could give zero start I would.” (Venmo)


(Reddit) - “My personal account got hacked and disable but my business account linked to it still on. I cannot access both. I filled a claim on 10-14 and still nothing! It says due to the few reviewers it may take longer. The thing is my account will be permanently disabled in 8 days if nothing is done. I am thinking about buying an Oculus Quest to try to contact their customer service... Had anyone done this with success? Please post some hope here.” (Facebook)


In the Venmo example, the user experienced a lack of customer service that renders their account, and by extension, the Venmo app, useless for the user. The inability to resolve the user’s problem creates a sense of exclusion from Venmo’s intended functionality. In the Facebook example, the user faces the potential that their account is permanently disabled. The severe lack of customer support is so dire that the user mentioned that they are considering spending money to buy an additional Facebook product so that they may have access to other customer service.


(Reddit) - “I attempted to use my Coinbase Card in a supermarket and it was declined. Upon checking my Coinbase account I receive an error message saying: “You are currently blocked. Sorry, account temporarily disabled. Please contact support” The problem is, support have never answered my support case. I used their telephone support, which said to email them... I have never used Coinbase for any nefarious purposes and have no idea whatsoever of the reason why they would lock my account. ...” (Coinbase)


(Play Store) - “Facing a worse scenario and Your Customer service is unacceptable and very weird! My facebook account has been locked and I’m not able to login regarding that I have mailed you through this gmail but not responded yet. Kindly Reply to my query asap.” (Facebook)


(Twitter) - “Making me wait for 15 mins and then connecting call after that disconnecting saying network issue. After they call back and asks for otp which I didn’t receive ND again disconnects” (Amazon)


For the user blocked from using Coinbase, they tried phoning and emailing, which all failed to connect with any customer service. Similarly, in the other two examples, users tried emailing and calling but was not successful. These examples demonstrate how users perceive a lack of fair customer service from app developers regarding their problems. More importantly, these examples show a lack of inclusiveness from app developers to restore services back to users currently unable to use their respective apps.

5.2 Technology

This category refers to concerns regarding users experiencing exclusion from a software or feature, due to certain technology restrictions enforced by the developer. It is the second most prevalent category out of the 6 (R: 23.7%, A: 20.69%, X: 32.8%). These limitations arise when developers insist on users having access to particular website, device, or network. Inadvertently, developers may exclude users by specifying certain devices or mandating third-party account access, which may not be applicable to all users. Therefore, user feedback pertaining to the integration of any technological aspect, assuming that users have access to the technology when they do not, falls within this category. 5.2.0.1 Device: Users often face the obstacle when features for an app no longer work on a particular device.


(Reddit) - “hey, so I use the discord browser on my tablet to manage multiple accounts, but today I just seem to get a blank grey screen, and visiting their website there’s no longer any way to login or access to web browser. Is anything else having this issue? It’s really obnoxious, because I’m even visiting through the desktop website, and the formatting on their web browser has been working fine up until now - it’s like they’ve gone out of their way to check my browser and specifically disable a totally functional feature” (Discord)


(Play Store) - “Videos stutter and play so choppy on my galaxy s22 ultra. This has gone on since I bought this phone. Please fix this app so videos will play smoothly on this phone. Other people with this phone have had the same complaints. PLEASE FIX!!!” (Amazon Prime Video)


(Twitter) - “How is @hulu not supported on the @SamsungMobile Galaxy s22 Ultra?” (Hulu)


From these examples, we see that the lack of support for apps or features in various devices is a recurring problem echoed by users across all three Reddit, Twitter, and app reviews. The impact of inclusiveness related to technology is often quite significant as it is the difference between whether a user can even use an app or not. As seen in the example from Twitter about Hulu on Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the app is not even supported on the particular device.


5.2.0.2 Network: In addition to devices, we also observe instances of users retelling issues surrounding their network signal.


(Play Store) - “the app never works with my wifi. I have to Initiate the app via cellular data, load the show I want to watch, and THEN initiate my wifi connection. I do not have slow internet.” (Hulu)


We also find users discussing problems that manifest after software updates. Organizations frequently update their software or opt to discontinue the product on devices or networks without providing any prior information to users. This generates frustration and a feeling of exclusion from the software amongst users.


(Twitter) - “... @Microsoft is suddenly refusing mails from my servers, auto-responding ”part of [..] network is on our block list (S3150)”. Their postmasters, though, just literally told me the 3rd time, that they ”were unable to identify anything on our side”. Frustrating.” (Microsoft Outlook)


(Reddit) - “I have an iPhone SE (2020), and I’m on a ”pay as you go” phone plan. When I text with Whatsapp, it uses wifi to send my messages without any problems. However, when I make a voice/video phone call, my Whatsapp will use my ”pay you as go” minutes instead of wifi. What is the problem? How do I prevent Whatsapp from using my ”pay as you go” minutes when making voice/video phone calls with Whatsapp? I never had this problem when using Whatsapp on an Android phone.” (Whatsapp)


We see in these examples the difficulty that users experience when the service provided by the apps suddenly changes without warning. In the complaint from Reddit about Whatsapp, it seems that Whatsapp is only causing this additional surcharge after the users switch their phone from Android to iPhone.


5.2.0.3 Website: Similarly, we observe users facing restrictions on the basis of single sign-on or app partnerships. Some apps require users to sign up to another website or app first before granting access. In one example, a user is refused the ability to change the email for their account despite them no longer having access to the email. We also observe instances of users not being able to link information that otherwise works in other platforms.


(Play Store) - “It would be wonderful if I could change the email address so I could use my account that already use my phone number so now I’m just ...... cuz I no longer have access to that email NEED TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OR REMOVE MY PHONE NUMBER SO I CAN CREATE MY ACCOUNT” (Afterpay)


(Play Store) - “Cant even link to my bank account. I used Plaid on another app and no issues. Just venmo having issues.” (Venmo)


(Play Store) - “Ease of using this app is the biggest joke of the millennium. A person gets a new device and tries to get back in to their account and Facebook and it’s associated sites won’t permit you to log in. Sends you to a security question where their computers make you select statements you made from 3 months ago. Then it determines that it can’t identify its you and blocks you from using the site. Hopefully someone else will develop a better version of Facebook so everyone can delete this obsolete app.” (Facebook)

5.3 Privacy

This category relates to any user feedback about privacy and security concerns such as system permissions, personal data access and compromises (R: 11.8%, A: 16.2%, X: 10.7%). Personal data access covers a large breadth of areas and includes personal information like banking information, social security number, geographical location, and others. Personal data refers to situations where users are limited from using any software due to the exploitation of their accounts in the app. A hacked account is a common example of this exploitation. Additional user feedback involves concerns about the security of their personal data.


5.3.0.1 Privacy: We find numerous examples of users complaining about apps requesting users to give up their privacy.


(Reddit) - “I have been thinking about starting my own depop shop... and at first I thought I was supposed to have a business paypal. In the middle of setting up my account I heard that you needed a personal account instead of a business account. So I went back to my business account and tried to close it, but its making me fill out my ssn and all this stuff about my business when I dont even have one in the first place. I just dont know what to do because I really dont want to put in my ssn.” (Paypal)


(Play Store) - “To use this app must turn on GPS (location)” (Facebook)


These user feedback share a common theme. Users frequently cannot use an app or their features without first providing additional data. In the case of PayPal, the user seeks to close their account, but they are unable to do so without providing their social security number, which they do not even have. Moreover, in the Facebook example, the user cannot use the app without first turning on GPS and granting the app to the user’s location. In either situation, the user cannot complete their desired task without giving up more of their personal data as they face the prospect of being excluded from the software. From what we can see from the feedback, the apps have not successfully convinced the users that providing additional personal data is warranted for the circumstances.


We also observe privacy concerns regarding the terms of service and privacy policies that apps prescribe. In the following example, a user is frustrated that signing up for BeReal means agreeing to a policy for user data that gives unlimited rights to BeReal. The app developer would be able to do whatever they want with user data once uploaded. As described earlier in the section, this is a clear example of an inclusiveness concern as users feel excluded from using an app without, in this particular case, giving unlimited rights to their data.


(Twitter) - “@BeReal App this is crazy. I wouldn’t care if you’d just store those BeReals at your servers, but giving you rights to do anything you want with them? No, thanks. I’m deleting the app.” (BeReal)


5.3.0.2 Security: Similarly, hacking and security incidents frequently put users in a challenging situation where they cannot access an app or have a reduced sense of customer trust.


(Reddit) - “...You can’t just lure people in, give them a reason to lock their money, then you come up with something that you think ’sustainable’ in the long run, while people seeing their investment is bleeding. ... Just like Robinhood doing to their customers, see what they got? Their customers are abandoning the platform. You should treat us with respect. Don’t ever try to be ’RobbingHood’ in crypto. ... With regards to the way you make recent decisions and how centralised the chain is, there is no way in hell I would put my money into CRO again ...” (Crypto.com)


(Play Store) - “Without my permission I’m getting OTP from the what’s app like it showing your what’s being registered in new device I don’t know who was using my number...it’s affect the customer trust ” (Whatsapp)


(Play Store) - “Many IT Team hacks my whatsapp contact And I can only block them in WhatsApp, why strict action is not taken against them, why there is no option to write anything against them in the report. (FROUD LOTTERY SCAM, LOAN RECOVERY AGENT HARRASMENT SOFTWARE) LIKE ETC,” (Whatsapp)


(Play Store) - “now today it suddenly shows me that someone other owner changed my account password how’s that even possible I shared my id with my friend nd she said it’s fine I am very tensed about this please solve this problem as soon as possible” (Instagram)


In all of these instances, users are reporting about perceived fraudulent activity surrounding their account or exploitation of their account. Since access to one’s personal account is a basic requirement for any app, software app developers should take precautions if account security issues are a recurring concern. The other concern from users is the perceived inaction or lack of options for users to report fraudulent activities.

5.4 Demography

Demography amalgamates concerns about user feeling excluded due to their demographic factor including age, gender, language, location, and socio-economic status (R: 12.6%, A: 13.1%, X: 13.9%).


5.4.0.1 Age: One common sub-category of demography inclusiveness feedback concerns users griping about age-related policy violations.


(Reddit) - “I hate Twitter so much man Ok so my Twitter got deactivated cause I made it wheN I was 10. I changed my DOB and it suddenly locked me out. This was on Sept 7 and now Im tryna log in and i cant get my account back? Its not recognizing it. Whats going on? How do I get it back? I got 8 years of stuff in there” (Twitter)


Software organizations must follow the law, and many jurisdictions have stringent laws regarding child protection. In the Twitter example, it seems that the user is concerned because they are locked out of their account, which has close to a decade of content. The user is of age now, but it seems that there is limited guidance for supporting the user to unlock their account. We find that age inclusive problems are closely related to the service category. When users have a problem, they tend to try to contact support, but we find users complaining that support is unresponsive or negligent. In the example below, a user attempts to contact TikTok to resolve their age dispute, and they never heard back from the app, nor did their age verification get approved.


(Play Store) - “... I had submitted a claim to get my age verification done after not being able to have the option to add my birthday even though I did it when signed up. Reported it. Team followed up. I then did as they asked. I submitted a second claim and got no response. They ghosted me. It’s absolutely ridiculous I followed instructions only to never hear back. Can’t view age restricted videos but im over 18. I have now told everyone to avoid this app.” (Tiktok)


5.4.0.2 Location: Another common sub-category is location, which encapsulates any user feedback about exclusion from using an app based on a user’s location. Specifically, location may refer to a user’s country, city, province, state, or anything to do with the geographic coordinates.


(Play Store) - “Why ain’t Reels available for everyone in every country and Instagram music? It sucks not being able to hear the sounds some [people] post just because IG music isn’t available in my region.” (Instagram)


(Reddit) - “My account got locked and it asked me to verify my phone and email but my country code isn’t even an option how am I supposed to verify? Country code is South Africa (+27) ” (Twitter)


(Reddit) - “I am aware that paypal supposedly has a minimum amount you can withdraw (around a dollar) but in new zealand you cant withdraw any amount of money. Any amount of money i try to withdraw (tried 20$) will say ”does not meet the minimum amount required to withdraw”. I now have money sitting there forever, and need to do some other sales but cant if i cant withdraw the money. On top of this, paypal (that ive been able to see) only does support via phone, on numbers that you cannot call from new zealand. So i essentially have no contact for support, and hence why im asking for help here.” (Paypal)


In these examples, users complain about a variety of problems that all relate to exclusion from using the apps properly due to restrictions based on their location. For Instagram, the user feels excluded from the app as music is not available in every country, and the user’s country is not on the list of exempt countries. Similarly, a user of Paypal in New Zealand laments that they cannot withdraw money due to location restrictions. In addition to this, Paypal also cannot request support either as Paypal does not provide a local phone number for people in New Zealand.


(Reddit) - “Hello! I am trying to open an Etsy shop, but when I try to set up my shop security, by the authenticator app, I just can’t... Every code I entered was a correct one, but Etsy said they weren’t valid. Now I have too many failed attempts and do not know how to proceed... The other methods do not work for my country... Any tips? Has anybody dealt with this before? Thank you...” (Etsy)


(Play Store) - “I can’t close my account after sending funds across the ocean because it’s up to a random person in another country to have the knowledge to accept them once sent because of a redundant verification system.” (Paypal)


We observe similar location problems when it comes to account opening or closing. An Etsy user complains that they cannot open an Etsy shop because they cannot use codes from the authenticator app, but this was their last opportunity after exhausting all other available attempts to open the account.


(Reddit) - “Trying to buy with N26 card from France Used to buy without any problem, now I get this: “We currently do not support the bank cards issued in your country, but we are working on making this a possibility as soon as we can.” Did they ban Germany from Binance? What’s happening?” (Binance)


We also see location issues that occur from sudden shifts in geographic restrictions. A feature that used to work for users is modified and no longer works for users from a country or state.


(Twitter) - “Pluto TV as Xumo on Firestick needs a VPN in UK” (Pluto TV)


(Reddit) - “Search feature is difficult, many items are not found in intuitive categories, searches bring up 1000 “related” or “suggested” items and you must search thru pages of listings sometimes to find the item you are looking for. When you choose an item and add it to your cart, the app will not allow you to change the delivery method that was chosen by default when you opened the app. The app does not save my location and the “use my location” feature does not work. My default is always Sacramento CA? ” (Walmart)


5.4.0.3 Language: Closely related to location, we find an assortment of user feedback about language issues. Users often complain about a perceived lack of inclusiveness, where their choice of language is not supported by an app.


(Play Store) - “one star because instagram doesn’t have Albanian language” (Instagram)


(Play Store) - “Usually good, but the change in notification is annoying and confusing, a lot of creators are harassed and receive strikes when they are being harassed, the language configuration is not able to detect the language in content and often send me content in languages I signaled as not interested. ...” (TikTok)


We observe from these examples that criticism is directed at the choice of languages in the app and that their choice of content is excluded from the app. End users cannot use an app if their preferred language of choice is not supported by the app developers.


5.4.0.4 Gender: We also find user feedback about gender inclusiveness, albeit to a limited extent. In the following example,


(Play Store) - “This is such a useful app and it has everything, literally. It has clothes of every style and it’s just overall a great app with also things for your house. Everything about this app is great, the only thing I would say could be improved is that the app is based around women and mainly women and maybe could have more advertising for men.” (SHEIN)


5.4.0.5 Socio-economic Status: Another common problem we find plaguing users is the limitation caused by a user’s socio-economic status and payment preference. A number of users explain the issues related to apps being too expensive for them to continue using. We find, in this scenario, that economic status impacts a user’s access to the app. When a user is unable or not willing to pay for premium subscription services, the user experiences a sense of exclusion despite their fondness for the app.


(Play Store) - “Premium features are too expensive. Video/audio calls are very poor when one end has a slow device or poor connection.” (Telegram)


(Play Store) - “This is a very good place to watch anything you want!! But the price is pretty expensive.....I would really love to keep watching my precious anime on here but I can’t keep up with the payments” (Hulu)

5.5 Usability

This category focuses on visual and sound aspects of accessibility and preference for user interface design. In particular, usability covers any user feedback regarding concerns about software usability (R: 15.3%, A: 8.0%, X: 11.5%).


5.5.0.1 Visual: Visual usability concerns are more widespread than audio. There are numerous incidents of users feeling some sort of visual inhibition that prevents them from a painless experience.


(Reddit) - “Cant use the app cause the screen is too small to reach [the] button at the bottom wtf who Programms something like that?” (TikTok)


(Reddit) - “Upgraded to new version 2.2237.5 desktop (windows) and it’s horrible. Font size is tiny and no way to change? Messages are centered and not left-justified like before. Unable to quick reply - now have to click a menu first, and select “reply” ? Put this back the way it was or off to SIgnal et, al. I go” (Whatsapp)


In all of these examples, users reporting their problems experience difficulty using the app due to the visual usability, either due to small font or design that may not consider the user’s device. It is representative of a lack of inclusiveness related to user interface design. To offset these issues, app developers would need to consider designing a user interface that considers these diverse user needs. We see from the Whatsapp example that the font size in the user interface is small for the user, but they do not have an option to modify it. The Tiktok example illustrates a problem when the screen is too small, and the app does not consider this problem. To support diverse users with different visual requirements, organizations should consider implementing various visual options.


(Reddit) - “Is it me or has Instagram WEB changed their adblocker policy? I use instagram Web occasionally and without my ublock origin being disabled the main features/buttons are not able to be clicked and not visible either. It couldn’t have been more than a few weeks since I could use Instagram with adblocker ON and fully functionally. Now I am getting Ads every other scroll and it’s unbearable for an autist like me... I can’t tolerate the format and frequency of those ads so I’m going to have to stop using it if no solution can be found” (Instagram)


5.5.0.2 Audio: In addition to visuals, we find audio related usability inclusiveness user feedback. As suggested by the sub-category name, audio concerns user feedback where user describes sound issues.


(Reddit) - “Discord makes every mic I use super Quiet I’ve tried basically everything in terms of my discord and my windows settings trying to make my mic sound louder, but nothing works. My friends can barely hear me when I’m on 200%. I’ve had this issue for a while and it’s really frustrating. ... ” (Discord)


(Play Store) - “Voice call not always audible enough.” (Whatsapp)


We find instances of users lamenting the lack of audio quality in the usage of the apps. The basic function of communication apps is defeated when users cannot make basic voice calls, and the microphone audio fails to work.

5.6 Other Human Values

We found various posts that indicated the violation of different basic human values and resulted in the user feeling excluded from the software. This category was the least common out of the 6 (R: 7.0%, A: 8.75%, X: 15.6%). Basic human values refer to “principles that guide social life and are modes of conduct that a person likes or chooses among different situations” [38]. To better structure and present such related user feedback, we draw upon Shalom H. Schwartz’s [39] theory of basic human values. The theory amalgamates 58 values grouped into 10 categories. In our dataset, we identified user concerns related to 3 values freedom, social justice, and benevolence. We identified users expressing exclusion from the app when they perceive a violation of these human values.


5.6.0.1 Freedom: This sub-category particularly advocates for “freedom of thought or speech,” often tied to ideals of equality. We found users describing their feelings of exclusion from freely providing their thoughts or interjecting their voices. Many users express frustration about being restricted from voicing their opinion in any given app.


(Play Store) - “They ban users for political views. Not acceptable!” (Cash App)


(Play Store) - “It restricted our account when We say true words and we say true words about human rights because if we say about some places or people that don care about human rights when we say our account restricted” (Facebook)


(Twitter) - “You officially lost a customer you are a big time loser facebook learn to respect freedom of speech!” (Instagram)


(Reddit) - “I got banned from Tik Tok because I posted a picture of Turkish Homelander, literal censorship ” (TikTok)


(Play Store) - “I remember when Facebook was fun, not it’s not any longer. It was a place to connect with family and friends. A place to talk and share thoughts and ideas but since it started to censor speech it’s no longer a place to be.” (Facebook)


All these examples suggest that users with specific opinions may feel marginalized or excluded from these platforms as their ability to freely express themselves is being restricted.


5.6.0.2 Social Justice: We found many user complaints regarding social justice, leading users to experience a sense of exclusion within the app. Social justice refers to a commitment to ensure that all members of society, irrespective of their race, religion, gender, or other characteristics, have equal access to opportunities and resources, in this context, equal access to the app and all the features. However, our results indicate a different scenario.


(Play Store) - “This app is based on Islamophobia. We cannot post openly about Islam. If we do, they give restrictions on our accounts much needed to improve” (Facebook)


(Play Store) - “They support racism and conspire in front of the Arabs. ...” (Facebook)


(Play Store) - “Completely biased platform always support muslims and Christians. Always hindu phobic” (Instagram)


5.6.0.3 Benevolence: This sub-category pertains to users feeling excluded due to their concern about the well-being of people they interact with on a regular basis, i.e., family and friends [39] We particularly found instances where users believe the software lacks child-friendly content and lacks features that could improve the overall family experience.


(Reddit) - “My young kids love watching YouTube. But I’m really uncomfortable letting them have unfettered access to the full YouTube content. There is a lot of disturbing content and the algorithms are known for luring people into extreme content. I have Roku TVs and the YouTube for Kids app is unavailable. ...” (Youtube)


(Play Store) - “... The recent video released of Disney internal meets proves they dont have the best interest of children in mind. When you decide to make wholesome content again and stop pushing sexuality on children is when we will spend money with you again. From now on our home will be Disney free. ...” (Disney+)


(Reddit) - “Trying to add grandma to my daughter’s kid messanger and keep getting an error please try again later message when I try to approve her and nothing has fixed it. ... We live far away from my parents so this is really the only way my mom gets to see her and the fact that it’s not working only for her is very frustrating...” (Facebook)


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Fig. 5. App Category Distribution

Fig. 5. App Category Distribution

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