2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Sunday, July 30 • 11:01 - 12:30
Angels And Devils Of Digital Social Norm Enforcement: A Theory About Aggressive Versus Civilized Online Comments [FULL]

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Authors: Lea Stahel and Katja Rost

Abstract: We develop a theory explaining when commenters choose to be aggressive versus civilized in social media depending on their personal social norm context. In particular, we enrich traditional social norm theory by the concept of moral legitimacy: it suggests that justifications, particularly those that put social norm violators outside of moral boundaries, are the supplier of aggression. Using the diversity of 45’982 comments of a real-world online firestorm our results confirm that social norm contexts matter strongly for online behaviour. The developed theory challenges existing speculations about online aggression and helps to develop strategies to encourage enlightened, civilized discourse in the Internet.

Sunday July 30, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-075 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9