Communal quirks and circlejerks

a taxonomy of processes contributing to insularity in online communities

Kimberley Allison, Kay Bussey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    Abstract

    Online communication offers the potential for bridging connections, exposing users to new views and experiences by fostering socially heterogenous communities. However, in the absence of deliberate attempts to promote diversity, communities may tend towards insularity: a state where members and content are similar or homogenous, and where deviation from these norms is discouraged. This paper presents a taxonomy of processes contributing to insularity, synthesizing findings from a broader longitudinal interview study on engagement with online communities over time with previous literature. Using thematic analysis, sixteen processes were identified which were associated with four broad stages: formation (selective connections, network homophily, shared interests, audience segmentation); propagation (circlejerking, upholding community standards, avoiding conflict, tailoring content); reaction (individual avoidance, collective reaction, mocking deviance, derogating outsiders); and perpetuation (modelling, prior feedback, echo chambers, gatekeeping). These findings highlight the need to consider more diverse mechanisms by which communities become insular, and the role that platform features play in facilitating these processes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICWSM 2020
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
    Place of PublicationCalifornia , USA
    PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
    Pages12-23
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781577357889
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020
    EventInternational AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (14th : 2020) - Atlanta, Virtual, United States
    Duration: 8 Jun 202011 Jun 2020

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
    ISSN (Print)2162-3449
    ISSN (Electronic)2334-0770

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (14th : 2020)
    Abbreviated titleICWSM
    CountryUnited States
    CityAtlanta, Virtual
    Period8/06/2011/06/20

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