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Bystander Intervention Against Uncivil User Comments: Do Intervention Information and User Responses Motivate Flagging?

Mon, June 13, 9:30 to 10:45, Fukuoka Hilton, Vega


Uncivil user comments lower the quality of comment spaces on news sites. Users can engage in regulation by flagging such posts. The paper investigates influences on flagging behavior by integrating research on bystander behavior. It presents two experimental studies that examine the effects of availability of intervention information, of characteristics of response comments by other users and of the type of victim attacked in a comment on flagging likelihood of an uncivil comment and on future intervention intention. Results indicate that intervention information motivates flagging in most conditions. Users do not to rest their decision to intervene on responses of others. However, responses by others decrease intervention against uncivil comments that attack a generalized social group and also influence future intervention intention.