What are the basics of WeDialogue?

You will be assigned to one style of commenting software platform.

Every other day, we will add a new piece of news. We will add 4 pieces, then pause, change moderation style (from pre to post), and then add other 4 pieces of news.

The study will run till the 31st of March.

There is no need for you to comment on everything, but we hope some might interest you, and you will comment on a few. We'll send an email every time a new piece is uploaded for a total of 8 emails over the entire course of the experimental phase. At the end there will be a optional exit survey.

After the experiment is over the last phase of open discussion on the platforms starts. So in mid April we will open up all discussion groups so you will be able to compare all platforms. We will have a discussion using all 3 platforms. This will cover:

  • what worked;
  • what did not work
  • what did not work;eriment should be;;
  • what an ideal news article commenting platform would look like.

All of this is optional. You can participate as much as you want. And if you get fed-up with our emails you can unsubscribe from the group mailing system. If you want to leave the study let us know.

Which platform will I be able to explore if I join weDialogue?

During the research study you will be assigned to one of three different types of platform. In the debriefing phase, after the study ends, you will be able to explore and compare all the platforms.

Can I invite a friend to participate during the enrollment phase?

Yes, please invite all your friends during the enrollment phase! However, once the enrollment phase is over we will not be able to accept any more participants.

Why do you not accept more participants after the enrollment phase?

We need to create discussion groups that are identical in size and have similar demographic and attitudinal characteristics. Once those groups are created and the study has started, we cannot add new people.

Why do I have to fill in surveys?

The first survey is extremely 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 cannot test the effect of different platform designs. The first survey will also contain some questions that we will ask again in the final survey. This allows us to see if the experience of weDialogue has changed your opinions in any way.

How many surveys will I have to fill in?

Two surveys: one at the start and one at the end.

What type of questions will you ask in the survey?

We have a mix of demographic questions, questions on your attitudes toward other people, questions on your news consumption and some political questions. None of your answers will be made public.

Why can I only create one login? Why can I not share my login with somebody else?

To maintain the validity of our research it is extremely important that each user creates only one login. In case of accidental creation of multiple logins please contact us at: info@wedialogue.world. If we detect multiple logins we reserve the right to remove the user.

Why do you need my email address? What will you do with it? Are you going to share it with anybody?

We need your email address to provide your login details when the study starts. We will then contact you every few days during the study to give you an update on what is happening and if there are responses to your comments. We will not share your email address with anybody outside of weDialogue. All copies of emails will be destroyed at the end of the study.

What should I do if somebody is violating the rule of discussions?

Please report any poor behaviour to moderation@wedialogue.world.

I have entered the platform, but I do not know what to do. What am I supposed to do?

Each platform has different characteristics, but in general we ask you to click on a news item on the main page and then write or respond to comments in the space at the bottom of each news page.

What platform do you use? Is there an open version I can install and reuse?

We use the deliberatorium and polis. Both platforms have an open source version. You can find more information about them here.

I think the platform isn't working. Who should I contact for help?

Please contact info@wedialogue.world.

What type of data are you collecting?

We collect your enrollment information, answers to survey questions, the information you share on the platform (including your comments, ratings and feedback) and the time you spend on the platform.

What are you going to do with my data?

First we will anonymize all the data, which means that no one can be traced. This anonymized data and the results of our research will be made public. All comments will be shared as public information after the study ends. That is why it is important not to share private information in your comments.

Where are your servers located?

Our main servers for the study are located in Ireland. The enrollment website and the survey platform we use for enrollment have servers located in the UK.

Do you use third party software?

Yes, we use third party software for the survey platform (JISC), for one of the commenting platforms (Pol.is) and for website analytics (Matomo).

Did you pass an ethical review?

Yes, we passed an ethical review at the University of Westminster and at the University of Connecticut. Ethical review is a procedure that analyzes any research to be undertaken by a university to make sure that it is not harmful for the participants and that it treats the data in an ethical and responsible manner.

What should I do if I do not want to participate anymore?

Nothing; you just stop participating. You will still receive some emails from us during the study. If you do not want to receive such emails any more, contact us at info@wedialogue.world.

I have a complaint, is there an independent person I can contact to complain about a violation of my privacy or the way you used my data?

You can make a complaint to a senior manager at the University of Westminster via privacy@wedialogue.world.

I want to delete all the data you have collected about me; how can I do that?

If you want us to destroy the data we have collected, please email privacy@wedialogue.world and we will remove all the information that you have provided through the enrollment process and the surveys. We will NOT be able to remove public comments in the discussion (see the data management policy). Such data is released by you as public and open data.

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