Saturday, December 4, 2021

Play

A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.

Play

U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

How Social Media Design Fuels Online Fights

Play

Thursday, October 21, 2021   

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of social media sites affects disagreements.

Amanda Baughan, PhD Student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, helped lead that research. The research showed that spending more time on a site did not correlate to more arguments.

But Baughan said arguments are common on sites like Facebook, where the goal can be to 'win' for whatever audience is reading the posts.

"There's not really a way to scale back what is happening between two people or a group of people in the comment section," said Baughan. "It can get very heated, very quickly."

Baughan analyzed what percentage of users of certain social media sites said they had arguments.

Seventy-percent of Facebook users said they had argued on the platform. Sites like Twitter and YouTube were considerably lower, with 30% and 6% of users, respectively, saying they'd argued on those platforms.

Baughan said the venue in which these disagreements took place also is important. More than three-quarters of people who used WhatsApp, a private messenger, said they got into arguments on the platform, but were less frustrated with their experiences.

Baughan said people reacted positively to the idea of bringing their arguments on sites like Facebook to a private space, where it can be easier to be vulnerable.

"I think that replicates a lot of how we have difficult conversations in real life as well," said Baughan. "Generally, I don't think we would choose to have it in a crowded room full of people. We would choose to find a time where it's just you and the person that you disagree with, to kind of hash things out."

Baughan said social media sites would need to present such an option sensitively - perhaps not introducing it for the first time while people are in the middle of a heated argument.

"That could seem very creepy because it's like, 'Oh, the social media company is monitoring what I say,'" said Baughan. "So, I think that how the option is presented is really important - probably having it be introduced when there's not an argument."

And Baughan said she would like to see social media companies think beyond individual users' experiences when designing their platforms.

"Especially in the past year with the pandemic, so many of our relationships were carried out online," said Baughan. "And making a bit of shift towards emphasizing the relationship, in addition to the user, could be really beneficial."




get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)

Environment

LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


Environment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …


From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021