Incivility and Political Identity on the Internet: Intergroup Factors as Predictors of Incivility in Discussions of News Online

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although incivility is an increasing concern among scholars and the public, explanations for this phenomenon sometimes overlook the role of computer-mediated communication. Drawing from the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), we consider incivility as a form of identity performance occurring in the visually anonymous contexts that are typical online. Specifically, we examine partisan political identities and intergroup factors as predictors of incivility in a newspaper discussion forum. Contrary to expectations, conservatives were less likely to be uncivil as the proportion of ingroup members (i.e., other conservatives) in the discussion increased and less sensitive to incivility directed at outgroup members (i.e., liberals) than were nonconservatives. Audience members had more extreme evaluations of uncivil comments made by partisans than nonpartisans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Civility
  • Computer-mediated Communication
  • Identity Performance
  • Political Communication
  • SIDE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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