Conversation Structure and Quality of Political Discourse: Evidence from Reddit
7 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 28, 2019
The Internet has provided more opportunities for the expression of diverse viewpoints. However, it also contributes to the rise of incivility and polarization. This paper speaks to this debate by showing that the network structure of how conversations happen affect the quality of the discourse. Using the reddit/politics 2014 data to examine this relationship, we find that 1) when the interaction among the users is more extensive, their discourses tend to be more emotionally polarized but more diverse as well and 2) conversations that follow more of power law distribution are also more emotionally polarized.
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