The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Pablo Aragon, Vicenç Gómez, Andreas Kaltenbrunner: Measuring Platform Effects on Online Democracy

Pablo Aragon, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Eurecat, Barcelona, Spain

Vicenç Gómez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Eurecat, Barcelona, Spain

Online discussions are the essence of many social platforms on the Internet. Conversations in online forums are traditionally presented in a hierarchical structure. In contrast, online social networking services usually show discussions linearly by sorting messages in chronological order. How discussion networks are affected by choosing a specic view has never been investigated in the literature. In this article we present an analysis of the discussion threads in Meneame, the most popular Spanish social news platform. In January 2015, this site turned the original linear conversation view into a hierarchical one. Our findings prove that the new interface promoted new discussion network structures. In particular, the hierarchical view increased deliberation and reciprocity based on the rhizomatic structure of discussions.

Pablo Aragon, Vicenç Gómez, Andreas Kaltenbrunner