This study examines a way to promote civility in online political discussions through modeling discursive cues. An online experiment (N = 321) was conducted to investigate the impact of civil and uncivil discursive cues on participants’ mode of discussion. Results show that participants who were exposed to civil cues were more likely to engage in civil discourse themselves, stay on-topic, and offer additional perspectives in their comments. We also found that metacommunication (i.e., talking about the tone of discussion) engendered more metacommunication. This study illustrates the impact of modeling discursive cues and illuminates the possibility that participants in online discussion can improve their discursive environment.
© 2018 The authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
civility, metacommunication, modeling, online discussion, political discussion
Han, Soo-Hye, LeAnn M. Brazeal, and Natalie Pennington. "Is civility contagious? Examining the impact of modeling in online political discussions." Social Media+ Society 4, no. 3 (2018): 2056305118793404.
Social Media and Society