Civility and Trust in Social Media

43 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2018

See all articles by Angelo Antoci

Angelo Antoci

University of Sassari

Laura Bonelli

Sapienza University of Rome

Fabio Paglieri

Italian National Research Council (CNR) - Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC)

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law; Euricse

Abstract

Social media have been credited with the potential of reinvigorating trust by offering new opportunities for social and political participation. This view has been recently challenged by the rising phenomenon of online incivility, which has made the environment of social networking sites hostile to many users. We conduct a novel experiment in a Facebook setting to study how the effect of social media on trust varies depending on the civility or incivility of online interaction. We find that participants exposed to civil Facebook interaction are significantly more trusting. In contrast, when the use of Facebook is accompanied by the experience of online incivility, no significant changes occur in users' behavior. These results are robust to alternative configurations of the treatments.

Keywords: social media, Facebook, online incivility, trust, social networks, cooperation, trust game

JEL Classification: C91, D9, D91, Z1

Suggested Citation

Antoci, Angelo and Bonelli, Laura and Paglieri, Fabio and Reggiani, Tommaso and Sabatini, Fabio, Civility and Trust in Social Media. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11290. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3117274

Angelo Antoci (Contact Author)

University of Sassari ( email )

Piazza Universita
Sassari, 07100
Italy

Laura Bonelli

Sapienza University of Rome

Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
Rome, 00185
Italy

Fabio Paglieri

Italian National Research Council (CNR) - Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC) ( email )

Viale Marx 15
Roma, RM 00137
Italy

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University ( email )

Zerotinovo nam. 9
60177 Brno, 603 00
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.muni.cz/en/people/241092-tommaso-reggiani

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Euricse ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

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