Social Infrastructure: Designing for Online Civility
Online toxicity is rampant across all corners of the Internet, ranging from media organizations and news outlets to gaming platforms and social media networks. Colloquial wisdom such as “don’t feed the trolls” and “don’t read the comments” has become a de facto solution for dealing with this kind of incivility. Shared digital spaces have become hijacked by the toxic minority, whose vitriolic presence often overwhelms any attempt at dialogue or debate. By design, online platforms seem to foster this kind of incivility, and it can seem as though the Internet brings out the worst in human nature. This chapter examines what strategies can be employed to mitigate the rising toxicity online through the development and integration of social infrastructure, citing examples from a diverse array of online communities and platforms.
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