Non-polar Opposites: Analyzing the Relationship between Echo Chambers and Hostile Intergroup Interactions on Reddit
Keywords:Web and Social Media, Qualitative and quantitative studies of social media, Social network analysis; communities identification; expertise and authority discovery
AbstractPrevious research has documented the existence of both online echo chambers and hostile intergroup interactions. In this paper, we explore the relationship between these two phenomena by studying the activity of 5.97M Reddit users and 421M comments posted over 13 years. We examine whether users who are more engaged in echo chambers are more hostile when they comment on other communities. We then create a typology of relationships between political communities based on whether their users are toxic to each other, whether echo chamber-like engagement with these communities has a polarizing effect, and on the communities' political leanings. We observe both the echo chamber and hostile intergroup interaction phenomena, but neither holds universally across communities. Contrary to popular belief, we find that polarizing and toxic speech is more dominant between communities on the same, rather than opposing, sides of the political spectrum, especially on the left; however, this mostly points to the collective targeting of political outgroups.
How to Cite
Efstratiou, A., Blackburn, J., Caulfield, T., Stringhini, G., Zannettou, S., & De Cristofaro, E. (2023). Non-polar Opposites: Analyzing the Relationship between Echo Chambers and Hostile Intergroup Interactions on Reddit. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 17(1), 197-208. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v17i1.22138