Characterizing Online Public Discussions through Patterns of Participant Interactions

Justine Zhang, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Christy Sauper, Sean Taylor

Proceedings of CSCW 2018.


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Related research:         

                                    Conversational Behavior


                                    Anti-Social Computing

      

                            

ABSTRACT:

                                   

Public discussions on social media platforms are an intrinsic part of online information consumption. Characterizing the diverse range of discussions that can arise is crucial for these platforms, as they may seek to organize and curate them. This paper introduces a computational framework to characterize public discussions, relying on a representation that captures a broad set of social patterns which emerge from the interactions between interlocutors, comments and audience reactions.

We apply our framework to study public discussions on Facebook at two complementary scales. First, we use it to predict the eventual trajectory of individual discussions, anticipating future antisocial actions (such as participants blocking each other) and forecasting a discussion's growth. Second, we systematically analyze the variation of discussions across thousands of Facebook sub-communities, revealing subtle differences (and unexpected similarities) in how people interact when discussing online content. We further show that this variation is driven more by participant tendencies than by the content triggering these discussions.




BibTeX ENTRY:

                                   

@InProceedings{Zhang+al:18b,

  author={Justine Zhang, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Christy Sauper, Sean Taylor},

  title={Characterizing Online Public Discussions through Patterns of Participant Interactions},

  booktitle={Proceedings of CSCW},

  year={2018}

}