HomeGadgetsOnline trolls are also assholes in real life: Aarhus University research

Online trolls are also assholes in real life: Aarhus University research

On January 6, 2021, a far-right mob organized on social media broke into the U.S. Capitol; used here as a stock photo.

On January 6, 2021, a far-right mob organized on social media broke into the U.S. Capitol; used here as a stock photo.
Photo: John Minchilow (Getty Images)

The internet didn’t turn people into bastards because it worked A sort of Large loudspeakers of existing loudspeakers, According to the work of researchers at Aarhus University.

Published in American Political Science Review, The researchers used representative surveys and behavioral studies from the United States and Denmark to determine why people generally believe that online environments are more hostile than offline interactions.The preprinted version of this article is Available here.

The team considered the mismatch hypothesis, which in the context of online behavior refers to the conflict between human adaptation to face-to-face interpersonal interaction and a newer, impersonal online environment. This assumption is more or less tantamount to the idea that when interacting with other anonymous Internet users, people who treat each other better may be more inclined to become annoying. The researchers found almost no evidence.

On the contrary, their data shows that online interactions largely reflect offline behavior. People tend to take offensive, status-seeking behaviors, which are as unpleasant as facing the veil of online anonymity, and they choose to be assholes deliberately. Part of the strategy, not as a result of the format involved. They also found some evidence that less hostile people are less interested in talking about politics on the Internet. These results are similar in the United States and Denmark, even though the two countries have very different political cultures and different degrees of polarization. (For example, the hostile extreme right mob Organize on social media No Recent storm The Danish Parliament. )

“We found that people are not more hostile online than offline; hostile individuals do not prefer online (as opposed to offline) political discussions; and people do not over-perceive hostility in online information,” the researchers wrote. “We did find some evidence for another selection effect: non-hostile individuals choose from all, hostile and non-hostile online political discussions.”

Alexander Bol, a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University and co-author of the study, told Engineering Technology There are “many psychological reasons” for being angry online, including Users “cannot see the face of the person who is arguing with us, and fast-paced written communication can easily lead to misunderstandings.”

“However, we also learned from psychological research that not everyone has the same aggressive personality,” Bol told the site. “Ultimately, these personality differences become a stronger driver of online hostility.”

The university’s political science professor and research co-author Michael Bon Peterson told Engineering and Technology that the study showed that the reason why online political debates are widely regarded as hell is related to the “visibility of online aggressive behavior”. For example, the research shows that people usually do not feel personal attacks in offline or online environments, but due to the public nature of the Internet, They are more likely to see trolls harassing and attacking others online rather than in person.

“Online discussions take place in large public networks, and the behavior of Internet trolls is more pronounced than the behavior of the same person in an offline environment,” Peterson told the site.

Individuals are not necessarily more or less inclined to the discovery of harmful behavior on the Internet. The findings are consistent with some previous studies and reports, which emphasize that harmful online political discussions are disproportionately used by malicious individuals to provide amplification.器Drive.A study Publish In the 2017 Personality and Individual Differences magazine, it was found that the most Radical online trolls May tend to have high cognitive empathy, which allows them to recognize when they press someone else’s button, but low emotional empathy allows them to avoid feeling bad or internalize the pain they cause.Devon Gaffney, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and Data Engineer, Harvard University Written for Bennington Magazine As platforms “optimized for connectivity, they inadvertently optimized for the growth of mob-like communities that are harmful but with identity-defined goals.” A 2018 study International Journal of Public Opinion Research Found bleeding Annoying online comments “increased the bias in news blog posts related to them” and fundamentally dragged down the entire discussion with them.

Bor told Engineering & Technology that the result supports stricter enforcement of the rules for hate speech because it is “not out of ignorance” and aggressive people are fully aware of how destructive and harmful their actions are. “This is a democratic issue because social media is playing an increasing role in the political process,” he added.

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