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Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach

Antoci, Angelo and Delfino, Alexia and Paglieri, Fabio and Panebianco, Fabrizio and Sabatini, Fabio (2016) Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach. PLOS ONE, 11 (11). e0164286. ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164286

Abstract

Evidence is growing that forms of incivility–e.g. aggressive and disrespectful behaviors, harassment, hate speech and outrageous claims–are spreading in the population of social networking sites’ (SNS) users. Online social networks such as Facebook allow users to regularly interact with known and unknown others, who can behave either politely or rudely. This leads individuals not only to learn and adopt successful strategies for using the site, but also to condition their own behavior on that of others. Using a mean field approach, we define anevolutionary game framework to analyse the dynamics of civil and uncivil ways of interaction in online social networks and their consequences for collective welfare. Agents can choose to interact with others–politely or rudely–in SNS, or to opt out from online social networks to protect themselves from incivility. We find that, when the initial share of the population of polite users reaches a critical level, civility becomes generalized if its payoff increases more than that of incivility with the spreading of politeness in online interactions. Otherwise, the spreading of self-protective behaviors to cope with online incivility can lead the economyto non-socially optimal stationary states

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C6 - Mathematical Methods and Programming > C61 - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory > C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D85 - Network Formation and Analysis: Theory
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Sets: Departments > Economics
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2017 12:34
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2017 10:24
Projects: L. R. n. 7, 2007
Funders: Regione Autonoma della Sardegna
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68800

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