Online Rationality: Reason-giving in virtual discussions
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The aim of this article is to discuss the idea of rationality in online debates. Taking a deliberative approach, this article analyzes 2,375 comments about LGBT rights across four different platforms: Facebook, Youtube, News Portals, and Votenaweb (which was specifically designed as a platform for discussions about bills proposed in the Brazilian National Congress). Using reason-giving as a dependent variable, the article tests five hypotheses: (H1) the number of posts presenting arguments for their positions is directly related to the platform on which these comments were posted; (H2) the chances that a post will present arguments is greater when the forum is balanced; (H3) the chances that a post will present arguments is greater when reciprocity is more frequent; (H4) the chances that a post will present arguments is smaller when the level of disrespect is greater; and (H5) the chances that a post will present arguments diminish when the comments are written by anonymous participants. The results show the importance of the nature of the platform and the salience of respect in inducing reason-giving.
author list (cited authors)
MendonÃ§a, R. F., & Amaral, E.