A Tale of Two Subreddits: Measuring the Impacts of Quarantines on Political Engagement on Reddit

Authors

  • Qinlan Shen Oracle Labs
  • Carolyn P. Rosé Carnegie Mellon University

Keywords:

Qualitative and quantitative studies of social media, Trend identification and tracking; time series forecasting, Subjectivity in textual data; sentiment analysis; polarity/opinion identification and extraction, linguistic analyses of social media behavior

Abstract

Concerns over the spread of abusive content in social media have led online platforms to explore large scale community-level forms of moderation. As an alternative to full bans, Reddit has implemented quarantines of subreddits, limiting access to controversial communities without explicit removal. Previous evaluations of the effectiveness of quarantines have focused on their impact on toxicity in affected communities. In this work, however, we focus on examining the impacts of quarantines of political subreddits on issues of political engagement in the broader Reddit community. We present a case study of two ideologically distinct political subreddits, r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse, and examine the impact of quarantines on activity, visibility, and political discussion. We find that while quarantines had a homogenizing effect on participation in political subreddits, they had limited impact on the visibility of community-internal issues and political language, due to the entrenchment of subreddit norms.

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Published

2022-05-31

How to Cite

Shen, Q., & Rosé, C. P. (2022). A Tale of Two Subreddits: Measuring the Impacts of Quarantines on Political Engagement on Reddit. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 16(1), 932-943. Retrieved from https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/19347