Angry by design: toxic communication and technical architectures

Luke Munn
2020 Humanities and Social Sciences Communications  
Hate speech and toxic communication online is on the rise. Responses to this issue tend to offer technical (automated) or non-technical (human content moderation) solutions, or see hate speech as a natural product of hateful people. In contrast, this article begins by recognizing platforms as designed environments that support particular practices while discouraging others. In what ways might these design architectures be contributing to polarizing, impulsive, or antagonistic behaviors? Two
more » ... forms are examined: Facebook and YouTube. Based on engagement, Facebook's Feed drives views but also privileges incendiary content, setting up a stimulus-response loop that promotes outrage expression. YouTube's recommendation system is a key interface for content consumption, yet this same design has been criticized for leading users towards more extreme content. Across both platforms, design is central and influential, proving to be a productive lens for understanding toxic communication.
doi:10.1057/s41599-020-00550-7 fatcat:bzryjuadgrc5rolus4aht222uy