Conversation Structure and Quality of Political Discourse: Evidence from Reddit

7 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2019

See all articles by Kaiping Chen

Kaiping Chen

Stanford University, School of Humanities & Sciences, Department of Communication

Lucas Alexander DiSanto Sanchez

Amazon.com

Date Written: March 28, 2019

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Kaiping and Sanchez, Lucas Alexander DiSanto, Conversation Structure and Quality of Political Discourse: Evidence from Reddit (March 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3362008 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3362008

Kaiping Chen (Contact Author)

Stanford University, School of Humanities & Sciences, Department of Communication ( email )

CA
United States

Lucas Alexander DiSanto Sanchez

Amazon.com ( email )

Seattle, WA 98144
United States

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