For the final entry in June about this month's Nablopomo theme of comment, I present this research that I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Gliese 832c) about uncivil comments to online news articles from the University of Utah, which asks Are You Guilty of Posting Rude Comments to Online News Sites?
New study confirms that uncivil behavior is common online, but its sources challenge stereotypesThe study explains why the more frequent commenters might be more civil than the infrequent ones later. Follow over the jump for the rest of the press release to find where that explanation might be.
June 26, 2014 – Anyone who’s ever ventured into the comments section of a news website has likely observed some unfriendly exchanges. Now research from the University of Utah and the University of Arizona has confirmed just how common such behavior is.
In a new study published in the Journal of Communication, researchers analyzed more than 6,400 reader comments posted to the website of the Arizona Daily Star, the major daily newspaper in Tucson, Arizona. They found that more than 1 in 5 comments included some form of incivility, with name-calling as the most prevalent type.
“We tracked six different kinds of uncivil language, but name-calling was far and away the most common,” said Kevin Coe, assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah and one of the study’s authors. “Many people just can’t seem to avoid the impulse to go after someone else.”
The study also showed that these types of commenters do not fit the stereotype of a few angry individuals who spend hours at their computers blasting others and making baseless claims. In fact, incivility was more common among infrequent commenters. Equally surprising, uncivil commenters were just as likely to use evidence in support of their claims as were the more respectful individuals.