Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

We describe the demographic makeup, attitudes, and behaviors of the people who comprise the online commenting world.

Background Information & Facts

People are more willing to get involved in political discussion when they’re provided with background information containing pro and con arguments.

Restructuring Comment Sections

There are several benefits – and limits – to using a three-column comment section as opposed to using a traditional one-column section.

New Approaches to Comment Moderation

For three months, we attempted to code for incivility within online news comments in new ways. In this progress report, we share thoughts on what worked, what didn’t, and what research can be done next.

Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

Uncivil comments decreased when a journalist interacted with online commenters.

Improving Civil Discourse

We have partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to research how to improve online discourse. We began by reviewing academic research on creating civil online spaces. In the coming months, we will conduct a series of focus groups to understand people’s thoughts about discussing politics online.