Daniel Klug
Systems Scientist
Institute for Software Research
Carnegie Mellon University
TCS Hall 315
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA (maps)



Interview with CNN about TikTok and the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial

Interview with The Atlantic about the TikTok algorithm

Interview with Migros Magazine (Switzerland) about why we (still)
watch reality TV (in German)

I’m a faculty member at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University. I’m the head of the MINT Lab that focuses on researching media, interaction, and technology.

My work focuses on sociological and cultural perspectives on digital media, interaction, and technology. I’m foremost interested in
(1) human-computer interaction/human-media interaction and practices of creating and engaging with digital media artifacts (currently TikTok),
(2) popular culture and participation from sociological cultural perspectives,
(3) computer-supported collaboration and video annotation tools in media education contexts, media literacy and algorithmic literacy.
I work primarily with qualitative approaches, such as qualitative interviews, focus groups, observations, contextual inquiry, content analysis, or production studies. My academic background is in media studies (PhD, University of Basel, 2012) and sociology (MA, University of Vienna, 2008).

At Carnegie Mellon, I’m affiliated with the Collaboratory Against Hate (CyLab), the CoEx Lab (HCII), the STRUDEL Lab (ISR), and the TRACES Lab (IDeATe).

For more details, see my CV.





Google Scholar | Research Gate | academia.eduORCID | LinkedIn | GitHub | Twitter




TikTok & Social Media Platforms

   current TikTok research projects:
   >> Preventing Viral Racism on TikTok [website]
   >> News Provider on TikTok [website]

my research focuses on qualitative user studies of creative practices and algorithmic literacy on TikTok. This includes:

How and when do TikTok users decide to participate in video creation and viral trends?
[CSCW’21 paper] [ICA’22 paper]

What are audiovisual characteristics of TikTok video challenges? [NCA’20 paper]

How do users’ understanding of the TikTok algorithm influence their video creation practices?
[WebSci’21 paper] [MUM’21 paper]

Open Source Communities

current research on online communication and interaction in Open Source Software communities includes:

How do OSS maintainers communicate and organize work effort?
[CSCW’21 paper]

How does toxic communication manifest in OSS online communities, and how can we effectively intervene?
[ICSE’22 paper]


Video Annotation Tools

TRAVIS GO – an app for simple and collaborative annotation of video and audio material [website]
[ECSCW’21 paper]




I publish in English and German. Most recent publications include:

Courtney Miller, Sophie Cohen, Daniel Klug, Bogdan Vasilescu, Christian Kästner. 2022. “Did You Miss My Comment or What?” Understanding Toxicity in Open Source Discussions. In 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2022). https://doi.org/10.1145/3510003.3510111.

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. https://doi.org/10.1145/3447535.3462512.

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. https://doi.org/10.1145/3490632.3497864.

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. https://doi.org/10.1145/3462204.3481741.

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). https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12194.

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.

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.

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). https://doi.org/10.1145/3379597.3387466.

Daniel Klug; Axel Schmidt. 2019. Production Practices in the Filming of German Scripted Reality Shows. In The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production (pp. 293-304). Palgrave Macmillan.

For a full list of publications see Google Scholar.



17-218 | 17-618 | 17-718 (Fall 2022)
Applied Qualitative Research Methods

17-397 | 17-641 (Spring 2021)
Introduction to Qualitative Research:
Social Media Apps and Video Content Creation


I give talks in English and German. Selected talks include:

How young people used TikTok videos to share lived experiences during COVID-19 lockdown. 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Paris, France, May 24 – 30, 2022 (upcoming)

Live Streaming as a Platform for the Female Gaze. 2nd Hawai’i International Conference on Chinese Studies (HICCS), Virtual Event, January 3-4, 2022 (with Huilian Sophie Qiu, Zhongxin Sun)

15 Seconds of What? Legacy Nachrichtenanbieter und die audiovisuelle Umsetzung ihrer Inhalte auf TikTok. 20. Jahrestagung der DGPuK Fachgruppe für Visuelle Kommunikation, Trier, Germany, November 25-27, 2021 (with Ulla Autenrieth)

TRAVIS GO – A Video Annotation Tool to Secure Media Literacy in Education and Beyond. SGKM/SACM Annual Conference, ZHAW Winterthur, Switzerland (virtual), November 20, 2020 (with Elke Schlote)

TRAVIS GO – Collaborate Video Annotation to Support Visual and Media Literacy. 43rd Conference of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), Jacksonville (FL), USA (virtual), November 2–7, 2020

“Jump in and be Part of the Fun”. How News Providers Use and Adapt to TikTok. Midwestern Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA), Minneapolis, USA (virtual), October 1-4, 2020

Musical.ly Tutorials as Aesthetic Codes and Performance Guidelines in Digital Youth Communities. European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), USI Lugano, Switzerland. October 31-November 04, 2018.




(c) April 2022