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Civility and trust in social media

Antoci, Angelo, Bonelli, Laura, Paglieri, Fabio, Reggiani, Tommaso and Sabatini, Fabio 2019. Civility and trust in social media. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 160 , pp. 83-99. 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.02.026

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Social media have been credited with the potential of reinvigorating trust by offering new opportunities for social and political participation. This view has been recently challenged by the rising phenomenon of online incivility, which has made the environment of social networking sites hostile to many users. We conduct a novel experiment in a Facebook setting to study how the effect of social media on trust varies depending on the civility or incivility of online interaction. We find that participants exposed to civil Facebook interaction are significantly more trusting. In contrast, when the use of Facebook is accompanied by the experience of online incivility, no significant changes occur in users’ behavior. These results are robust to alternative configurations of the treatments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0167-2681
Date of Acceptance: 21 February 2019
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 15:00

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