Your Time Online and "Doomscrolling"

  • Community Insights
  • Product Discovery

This study is being conducted by the Rally team at Mozilla to examine how our community explores the internet. During the enrollment process, you’ll receive more information about the study and you’ll be asked by Mozilla to consent to participation.

The study will run until October 13, 2021.

Goals of the Study

When you enroll in this study you are helping Rally discover how our community browses the internet, and how these browsing dynamics differ across segments of people. Your data will be collected to better understand online behavior like “doomscrolling”. Doomscrolling is a popular term for browsing outrageous or sad online news for a long period of time. We will use this information to potentially build new features on Rally. We may also share our aggregated findings in blog posts and through other data visualizations, or otherwise publish aggregated data sets. If we do so, we will remove your personal information and try to disclose it in a way that minimizes the risk of you being re-identified.

The study is designed to answer a few exploratory research questions like:

  • On what parts of the internet do you tend to spend most of your time?
  • How do your browsing habits vary by time of day and day of week?
  • How much “doomscrolling” (large scroll depths on social media sites) do you do over the course of the week?
  • How much do you get distracted by certain sites (defined as intermittently switching to a site while still having prolonged attention on another site, (e.g., “I spent a couple hours in a Google Doc, but I check twitter every five minutes”)?
  • Do social media sites lead to deep browsing (a page visit leading to more page visits, and so on) or shallow browsing (i.e., bouncing between a social media site and individual sites for short periods of time)?
  • How do these factors change according to your demographics?

This Study Will Collect:

  • Specific actions you take while browsing the web: listening to audio, changing a tab, watching a video, or loading a new URL (but we do not collect what you’re listening to or viewing, just that you have performed that action)
  • The domains you visit as you browse the web (e.g., wikipedia.org) and the title, description, and type of page that you’re on (e.g., article, video, website)
  • The time spent on each page and how far you scroll down a page
  • The title, description, and type of page you’re visiting. For example, the type might be “video.mov” and the description would be the name of the video you’re watching with some additional metadata
  • The time of day and day of the week that you browse or listen to media

For detailed information about our data collection, view our readme.

How We Protect You:

  • We will not collect full website URLs
  • We will not collect any data when you are in private browsing mode
  • We will not share your personal information or other non-aggregated data publically; only aggregated data will be used in blog posts and other data visualizations
  • Analysis of the data will be done in our secure analysis environment

We are committed to data minimization as a design principle in all of our studies. This means we only try to collect exactly what is required to support our study goals, and nothing more.

About Us

Mozilla logo

At Mozilla, we’re a global community of technologists, thinkers and builders working together to keep the Internet alive and accessible, so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the web. We believe this act of human collaboration across an open platform is essential to individual growth and our collective future.

For more information contact:

Rebecca Weiss
Principal Investigator
studies@mozilla.com

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