Jisu Kim, Curtis McDonald, Paul Meosky, Matthew Katsaros, Tom Tyler
Platform architecture can shape the civility of conversations.
This study tests whether the architecture of a social media platform can encourage conversations among users to be more civil. It was conducted in collaboration with Nextdoor, a networking platform for neighbors within a defined geographic area. The study involved: (1) prompting users to move popular posts from the neighborhood-wide feed to new groups dedicated to the topic and (2) an experiment that randomized the announcement of community guidelines to members who join those newly formed groups. We examined the impact of each intervention on the level of civility, moral values reflected in user comments, and user’s submitted reports of inappropriate content. In a large quantitative analysis of comments posted to Nextdoor, the results indicate that platform architecture can shape the civility of conversations. Comments within groups were more civil and less frequently reported to Nextdoor moderators than the comments on the neighborhood-wide posts. In addition, comments in groups where new members were shown guidelines were less likely to be reported to moderators and were expressed in a more morally virtuous tone than comments in groups where new members were not presented with guidelines. This research demonstrates the importance of considering the design, structure, and affordance of the online environment when online platforms seek to promote civility and other pro-social behaviors.
Journal of Online Trust and Safety
Kim, J., McDonald, C. ., Meosky, P. ., Katsaros, M. ., & Tyler , T. . (2022). Promoting Online Civility Through Platform Architecture. Journal of Online Trust and Safety, 1(4). https://doi.org/10.54501/jots.v1i4.54
The following papers were cited within this study.
The following papers were conducted after this paper's publication, and reference this exact study. They can be thought of as 'ensuing from' or 'being derived from' this study.