Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach
Fabrizio Panebianco () and
Fabio Sabatini ()
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
Evidence is growing that forms of incivility –e.g. aggressive and disrespectful behaviors, harassment, hate speech and outrageous claims– are spreading in the population of social networking sites’ (SNS) users. Online social networks such as Facebook allow users to regularly interact with known and unknown others, who can behave either politely or rudely. This leads individuals not only to learn and adopt successful strategies for using the site, but also to condition their own behavior on that of others. Using a mean field approach, we define an evolutionary game framework to analyse the dynamics of civil and uncivil ways of interaction in online social networks and their consequences for collective welfare. Agents can choose to interact with others –politely or rudely– in SNS, or to opt out from online social networks to protect themselves from incivility. We find that, when the initial share of the population of polite users reaches a critical level, civility becomes generalized if its payoff increases more than that of incivility with the spreading of politeness in online interactions. Otherwise, the spreading of self-protective behaviors to cope with online incivility can lead the economy to non-socially optimal stationary states.
Keywords: online incivility; evolutionary dynamics; self-protective behavior; social networks; dynamics of social interaction; social networking sites; Internet. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C61 C63 D85 O3 O33 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-net and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach (2016)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:72454
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