This project aims to gain insights into deletion practices in online communication spaces and creates a taxonomy of deleted postings from the online forums of a large Austrian daily newspaper and a German question-answer portal.
It is difficult for scientists to gain insight into the deletion practice of social networks and online forums. Reports on the moderation practice of Facebook are without examples. However, comments that have just been deleted (and the methodology and reasons for deletion) are an important source for insights into the discourse practices practiced in online communication spaces, communicative figurations and the prevailing normative order.
The Privacy and Sustainable Computing Lab
at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
has initiated a project
with an Austrian daily newspaper, which maintains one of the largest German-language reader forums, to test new ways of combating hate speech in online forums while they are still running
. Changes to the user interface, feedback loops and self-regulation processes in the community should lead to more constructive postings.
As part of this project, the WU team has been given access to the forum and to a database of anonymous content deleted by moderators and automatic filters. A similar database was made available to the WU team by Germany's largest Q&A platform.
Picture: Daiga Ellaby / unsplash.com