Profiling Sensitivity to Online Incivility

ASOG Working Paper 23–010

23 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2023

See all articles by Ma. Rosel San Pascual

Ma. Rosel San Pascual

University of the Philippines, Diliman - College of Mass Communication

Jon Benedik Bunquin

University of the Philippines, Diliman - College of Mass Communication

Clarissa C. David

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Maria Jeriesa Osorio

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Date Written: August 22, 2023

Abstract

Our study offers a general model on how sensitivity to online incivility may be profiled. We conceptualize sensitivity to online incivility as an individual’s perception of the presence or absence of incivility in given statements and we propose four typologies of sensitivity to incivility based on alignment of perceptions to the civil and uncivil sets of comments that we have designed. We refer to the first category as congruent sensitivity, wherein perceptions are appropriately aligned, that is, civilly-designed comments are perceived as civil and uncivilly-designed comments are perceived as uncivil. We then refer to the second category as low sensitivity, wherein both civil and uncivil comments are perceived to be civil; hence, low sensitivity to uncivil comments. Meanwhile, we refer to the third category as high sensitivity, wherein both civil and uncivil comments are perceived to be uncivil; hence, high sensitivity to uncivil comments. Last but not the least, we refer to the fourth category as tone-deaf sensitivity, wherein perceptions are completely misaligned, that is civilly-designed comments are perceived as uncivil and uncivilly-designed comments are perceived as civil.

In terms of specific forms of incivility, our findings uncover that threats are easier to be congruently detected as uncivil while character assassination appears to be the easiest to overlook, thereby misjudging supposedly uncivil messages containing such a form of incivility as civil. Given the extent of preponderance of character assassination as a form of incivility, individuals may have been so desensitized to its presence that they tend to miss this form of incivility.

Keywords: incivility, sensitivity to incivility, congruent incivility, high sensitivity, low sensitivity, tone-deaf sensitivity

Suggested Citation

San Pascual, Ma. Rosel and Bunquin, Jon Benedik and David, Clarissa C. and Osorio, Maria Jeriesa, Profiling Sensitivity to Online Incivility (August 22, 2023). ASOG Working Paper 23–010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4547689 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4547689

Ma. Rosel San Pascual (Contact Author)

University of the Philippines, Diliman - College of Mass Communication ( email )

Jon Benedik Bunquin

University of the Philippines, Diliman - College of Mass Communication ( email )

Clarissa C. David

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Fr. Arrupe Road
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Maria Jeriesa Osorio

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

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