Markman IR12 presentation

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Markman IR12 presentation

  1. 1. Anonymity and Conflict in Metafilter.com: The relationship between identity performance and discourse strategies Kris M. Markman, Ph.D. University of Memphis Kumi Ishii, Ph.D. Western Kentucky University IR 12: Performance & Participation October 11, 2011 Seattle, WAMonday, October 17, 11
  2. 2. Background Early CMC research linked lack of nonverbal cues & anonymity to conflict, hostility & aggression (“flaming”) Later research emphasized strategic self-presentation & hyperpersonal aspects Dearth of research on management of conflict in online communities and identity performance Research Question: What is the relationship between participants’ degree of anonymity and their discursive strategies in online conflict?Monday, October 17, 11
  3. 3. Anonymity & Identity Performance Anonymity: the “degree to which a communicator perceives the message source as unknown or unspecified’’ (Anonymous, 1998, p. 387) Operationalized as amount of self-disclosure on profile page All MetaFilter members are pseudonymous Pseudonyms (user names) may be associated with range of personally identifying informationMonday, October 17, 11
  4. 4. MetaFilter ProfilesMonday, October 17, 11
  5. 5. Data and Method 2009 MetaTalk thread discussing a proposed site change 511 unique members, 2240 comments Profile pages coded for identity information Comments coded for discursive strategies: 3 categories coded by human coders (nonverbal cues, address terms, quoting) Linguistic Inquiry & Word Count (LIWC) software used to generate frequencies in a range of categoriesMonday, October 17, 11
  6. 6. Profile Coding Percent Category disclosed First & last name 27% Ambiguous or partial name 28% Email address 44% URL 38% Likely picture 21% Latitude/longitude link 65% Some location information 61% Likely occupation 29% Age 25% Relationship status 36% About text 60% IM services M=.3, max=5 Social applications M=1.9, max=19Monday, October 17, 11
  7. 7. Population M=11.45; SD= 7.98 Anonymity Score range 0 (high anon) - 38 (low anon) M= 4.02 years; SD= 2.39 years Membership Time range 2.86 weeks - 10.25 years Engagement with MeFi M= 9.8 comments; SD= 12.77 (avg. comments/wk) range .02 - 81.96 commentsMonday, October 17, 11
  8. 8. What is the relationship between participants’ degree of anonymity and their discursive strategies in online conflict? *Anonymity was negatively related to use of address terms and nonverbal cues, and positively related to use of positive emotion words *Most anonymous and most identifiable groups had identical means on negative emotionMonday, October 17, 11
  9. 9. Anonymity and discourse strategies High ANON (M=.14, SD=.266) Address terms Low ANON (M=.22, SD=.318) t(269)=-2.218, p<.05 High ANON (M=.25, SD=.343) Cue use Low ANON (M=.37, SD=.393) t(269)=-2.65, p<.01 High ANON (M=5.58, SD=3.4) Positive emotion Low ANON (M=4.68, SD=2.93) words t(269)=2.335, p<.05Monday, October 17, 11
  10. 10. Discourse style and ....? Membership time was related to anonymity (r=. 21, p<.001), but not to any discourse variables Engagement was marginally related to: quoting (τb=.183, p<.001) address terms (τb=.132, p<.001) swearing (τb=.154, p<.001) anger (τb=.105, p<.01)Monday, October 17, 11
  11. 11. Engagement and discourse strategies High ENGAGE (M=.37, SD=.357) Quoting Low ENGAGE (M=.18, SD=.331) t(253)=-4.399, p<.001) High ENGAGE (M=.876, SD=1.36) Anger Low ENGAGE (M=.552, SD=1.06) t(253)=-2.118, p<.05 High ENGAGE (M=86.85, SD=74.1) Word count Low ENGAGE (M=110.4, SD=102.27) t(253)=2.104, p<.05Monday, October 17, 11
  12. 12. Anonymity & Engagement ANONGRP * ENGAGEGRP Crosstabulation Count ENGAGEGRP 1 2 3 4 Total ANONGRP 1 50 34 29 26 139 2 29 31 31 29 120 3 26 37 29 28 120 4 23 26 39 44 132 Total 128 128 128 127 511 The most anonymous users were more likely to be the least engaged; the most engaged users were more likely to be the least anonymous (χ2(9,511)=21.602, p=.01)Monday, October 17, 11
  13. 13. Whither the GRAR? Overall LIWC data showed relatively low levels of negative emotion, anger & swearing GRAR is in the eye of the beholder Most engaged people were the most identifiable, but also displayed the most “aggression” More anonymous people displayed more positive emotion Context matters!Monday, October 17, 11
  14. 14. Thank you! Contact: k.markman@memphis.edu Twitter: @DiscourseMarkerMonday, October 17, 11

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