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Thread: Why we act differently online

  1. #1
    Praguematic Helena's Avatar
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    Why we act differently online

    BBC - Future - Evolution explains why we act differently online

    On the love for outrage:

    Those of us fortunate enough to have relatively peaceful lives are rarely faced with truly outrageous behaviour. As a result, we rarely see moral outrage expressed. But open up Twitter or Facebook and you get a very different picture. Recent research shows that messages with both moral and emotional words are more likely to spread on social media – each moral or emotional word in a tweet increases the likelihood of it being retweeted by 20%.

    “Content that triggers outrage and that expresses outrage is much more likely to be shared,” says lab director Molly Crockett. What we’ve created online is “an ecosystem that selects for the most outrageous content, paired with a platform where it’s easier than ever before to express outrage”.

    Unlike in the offline world, there is little or no personal risk in confronting and exposing someone. And it feeds itself. “If you punish somebody for violating a norm, that makes you seem more trustworthy to others, so you can broadcast your moral character by expressing outrage and punishing social norm violations,” Crockett says.

    “When you go from offline – where you might boost your reputation for whoever happens to be standing around at the moment – to online, where you broadcast it to your entire social network, then that dramatically amplifies the personal rewards of expressing outrage.”
    This is compounded by the positive feedback such as ‘likes’. As a result, the platforms help people form habits of expressing outrage into a habit. “And a habit is something that’s done without regard to its consequences,” Crockett points out.
    The part about trolling is interesting too:

    Researchers already are learning how to predict when an exchange is about to turn bad – the moment at which it could benefit from pre-emptive intervention. “You might think that there is a minority of sociopaths online, which we call trolls, who are doing all this harm,” says Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil at Cornell University’s Department of Information Science. “What we actually find in our work is that ordinary people, just like you and me, can engage in such antisocial behaviour. For a specific period of time, you can actually become a troll. And that’s surprising.”

    Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil has been investigating the comments sections below online articles. He identifies two main triggers for trolling: the context of the exchange (how other users are behaving) and your mood. “If you’re having a bad day, or if it happens to be Monday, for example, you’re much more likely to troll in the same situation,” he says. “You’re nicer on a Saturday morning.”
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  2. #2
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Ouch. Busted.
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    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanstill View Post
    ouch. Busted.
    Outrageous!!!!!
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    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Unlike in the offline world, there is little or no personal risk in confronting and exposing someone. And it feeds itself. “If you punish somebody for violating a norm, that makes you seem more trustworthy to others, so you can broadcast your moral character by expressing outrage and punishing social norm violations,” Crockett says.
    I found this point particularly interesting. I see this all the time. People attempting to shame or cast you as less than them, less than a "normal" person.

    It certainly does feed itself.
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  5. #5
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    I can attest that circle jerks, high fivings, bullyings, and/or public shamings don't happen in real life.

    It's the Internet.
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    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    I found this point particularly interesting. I see this all the time. People attempting to shame or cast you as less than them, less than a "normal" person.


    It certainly does feed itself.
    Yes... It also is a perfect synopsis of Virtue Signalling.
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  7. #7
    Shitposting Rank 4 Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Yes... It also is a perfect synopsis of Virtue Signalling.
    Absolutely. Hand in hand.
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  8. #8
    your better Rev. Hellh0und's Avatar
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    Actually it's much simpler than that.


    You don't risk getting punched in the mouth when someone picks e-fights.
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    Moderator Nicnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    I found this point particularly interesting. I see this all the time. People attempting to shame or cast you as less than them, less than a "normal" person.

    It certainly does feed itself.
    Exactly!

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Hellh0und View Post
    You don't risk getting punched in the mouth when someone picks e-fights.
    I have found, however, that people are more willing to take that risk IRL as a result of the increased activity of engaging in riskless e-fights. I have had occasion to tell people IRL - just as I have here - that I am absolutely unimpressed by any other person's outrage. If anything, I am outraged at the excess of outrage we are all (in the aggregate) expressing, which I believe is used as an excuse to attack people we do not like rather than actually work together to solve problems.
    Thanks from Wonderer

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