What is it?
The study is simple. Participants were asked to take a survey, then wait until the study starts. They then received a login for the WeDialogue platform. They will soon be able to use it to read and comment on articles as if it was a normal news website or blog. At the end of the study there will be a final survey about how participants found it.
Try better ways to debate online
Participants get the chance to explore new online comment systems. These have been designed to create more satisfying discussions.
To promote humility in public discourse and prevent digital harassment and trolling
We badly need to create more inclusive and safe methods for commenting on news. I am pleased to support this important research and hope you can participate in the experiment
Prof. Jane Mansbridge
Kennedy School of Leadership, Harvard University
Who is involved?
Prof. Graham Smith
Professor of Politics and Director of Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, UKRead more
Prof. Michael E Morrell
Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of ConnecticutRead more
Dr. Paolo Spada
Centre for Social Studies in PortugalRead more
Dr. Mark Klein
Principal Research Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyRead more
Perry is an innovator of participatory methods that anyone can use. He has more than 20 years of experience in designing and testing new participatory methods.Read more
Rachel is known as the Donor Whisperer. She is a former lecturer at the Hypermedia Research Centre, University of Westminster.Read more
In this phase participants were asked for their email address and some small amounts of data. They were invited to take part in a survey. Based on their responses, the researchers will divide participants into groups for different parts of the study. This phase is happening now.
In this phase participants will be assigned to an online platform where they can comment on news items. They will receive anonymous login details. Groups will use different commenting platforms so that we can compare their impact on the discussion. We designed the experiment to last 3 weeks.
At the end of the study, we'll ask participants to complete a final survey. We will then open up all the parts of weDialogue so that users can explore and compare them. They will then be able to provide open feedback on the experience. This phase will last 2 weeks.
During the research study you'll be assigned to one of three types of commenting system. In the debrief phase, after the study ends, you'll be able to explore and compare all of them.
Yes, please invite all your friends! However, once the enrollment phase is over we can't accept any more people.
We need to create discussion groups that are the same size and have similar types of people. Once those groups are created and the research study has started, we can't add new people.
The first survey is important because we need to collect demographic and attitudinal data to create identical discussion groups before the study starts. Otherwise we could end up with a group made up of people that like to comment a lot, and another group that like to read without commenting. This would mean that we can't test the effect of different platform designs. The first survey will also contain some questions that we'll ask again in the final survey. This allows us to see if the experience of weDialogue has changed your opinions in any way.