User talk:Reagle/QICs

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Questions, Insights, Connections[edit]

Leave your question, insight, and/or connection for each class here. I don't expect this to be more than 4 to 6 sentences. Make sure it's unique to you. For example:

  • Here is my unique question (or insight or connection).... And it is signed. -Reagle (talk) 13:29, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Be careful of overwriting others' edit or losing your own: always copy your text before saving in case you have to submit it again.

Sep 11 Fri - Intro and Wikipedia[edit]

Sep 15 Tue - Persuasion[edit]

QIC1: "There are specific ways people could be convinced to contribute to an online community that might soon fail. While there are many people who work hard to make sure the community survives, the dilemma arrives when “there is simply too much work to do with the number of hands available…[yet] hands are available but idle" (Kraut et al., page 22). In essence, you must hold the hand of those you want to entice to work. You could make work easy to find through simple to use tools. Tailor work to be something they want to do, not what they need to do. Make members feel special by addressing them by name. Make sure the community likes you, or finds you attractive so your message can get across. You could even give gifts people aren’t expecting to receive (Cialdini, page 77). There are still 11 more tactics that Kraut et al mention, and more generalized rules that Cialdini provides, but 4 tactics alone would incentivize me to get on my laptop and add to a Wiki article.

I question if these claims are designed for a western audience. This pandemic has emphasized how individualistic western society can be. I wonder if people with collaborative values even need these techniques to contribute to a collective workload? Maybe some techniques would be more effective than others? Maybe most people prefer to do work for people they find attractive? Or, maybe our western values of equating time with money have made us adverse to contributing just to…contribute. - TM21NU (talk) 20:01, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, good job: you provide details, engagement across readings, and ask a question we can discuss in class. Also, have a look at writing responses. -Reagle (talk) 20:08, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC1: This is a really interesting take on what the authors are saying. I also question if this applies to a western audience but I a not sure if I agree that this pandemic has demonstrated how individualistic our society is. In fact- I might say that this pandemic has shown how reliant we are on each other and community based interaction. I would say that certain techniques listed here would be more effective than others - for example scarcity. I think this is certainly demonstrated in our communities during this pandemic. Like the cafeteria example, when we realized that social interaction would become rare - we wanted it more. At least I did. I found myself saying a lot that when we could return back to normal life that I would never say no to plans again. The scarcity of community and face to face interaction made me crave it. I would even say that the concept of "time is money" might have changed as well. With quarantine, many of us found more time on our hands than we knew what to do with. I think that with the switch to working at home and being more involved in a virtual sense may change the way the western world views work. TessBroll (talk) 17:32, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

TessBroll, I appreciate you building on TM21NU. In the future, ensure you include independent details that shows you too did the readings. Also, have a look at writing responses -Reagle (talk) 20:08, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Sep 18 Fri - Wikipedia and A/B testing[edit]

QIC2 ...“We know that most people will ignore this message. But if Wikipedia is useful to you, please consider making a donation.” This is part of the message found on Wikimedia’s donation page, signed by founder, Jimmy Wales (2020). Wikipedia tests multiple campaigns to see which phrase gets the most clicks, including “if everyone reading this donated $5” or “imagine you had a nickel…”(Wikimedia, 2010). This is a form of A/B testing. A/B testing is when “a fraction of users are diverted to a slightly different version of a given web page and their behavior [is] compared against the mass of users on the standard site.” (Christian, 2012). A/B testing can make the simplest marketing decisions easier, cheaper, and quicker to accomplish. Can’t decide between Helvetica or Comic Sans for your "Contact Us" Page? Use A/B Testing. Should we put a picture of our company’s founder or a picture of all our employees on the "About Us" page? Use A/B testing. While A/B testing can’t answer broad questions or replace strategic planning, the little things can be decided by data. But, don’t let data rule all your decisions or forbid you from making big, creative changes.

We know from the Banner Testing (2010) article which phrases work better on Wikipedia to get donations. I wonder who these campaigns are targeted to? Wikipedia is home to different types of users including registered editors, anonymous editors, and “wiki gnomes” (Reagle, 2010). I think that A/B testing for donations is done to attract those who use Wikipedia solely as readers. Do Wikipedians need to be targeted and tested? Do those who contribute the most also have to contribute monetarily? Could A/B testing be used to covert readers to editors? Or is continuing to test new donation strategies more effective than adding Wikipedians to the community? I wonder if that could be A/B tested. - TM21NU (talk) 00:13, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, excellent response. BTW: These need not exceed 250 words and I updated the syllabus with the following: "In this class, QICs are supposed to be a bit easier/quicker than a full reading response, but you should still consult 'The Craft of Reading' and 'What Makes a Good Response.'" -Reagle (talk) 16:10, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC1 Imagine being so slow and then getting beaten out by a younger and faster person, but no one helps you because you kind of deserve it. That is basically what happened to Nupedia. Essentially, Nupedia was the original with regards to online encyclopedias that wanted to give free information to its readers (Reagle, 2010). However, the way that it website was run was a bit different to its younger spinoff, Wikipedia, in that Nupedia needed all the articles to be expertly reviewed thus slowing down the process of uploading new and free articles (Reagle, 2010).

When wikis were created and opened a platform for other contributors to help edit and add articles to Nupedia, Reagle (2010) references, “considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia’s editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website.” Thus, the birth of Wikipedia happened in 2001 separated from it predecessor Nupedia. It was such a smash hit that “when the server hosting Nupedia crashed in September of 2003 it was never restored” (Reagle, 2010).

I mention this minor story because it kind of reminds me of an early stage A/B testing. Except rather than getting real time results and converting the winning layout, we just see the demise of one. Brian Christian (2012) goes into how A/B testing works in real time today; for instance, a fraction of a group will be sent to one layout of the website while the other fraction gets sent to another, and based on conversion rates, the winning layout will takeover the losing layout. This took me back to my previous co-op at an online e-commerce store. I worked in the e-mail department where we did all types of A/B testing but with so many different variables. The craziest testing period would be during the holiday seasons, we’d set all the tests up within a few weeks to even days before the actual holiday sale. We’d test first thing in the morning and run it for two hours to a set number of consumers, and then switch off all losing candidates and send the winner to the remaining consumers. The results would give us the buzzwords to use for the actual days of the holiday, but also gave us a nudge the weeks before and after. The amount testing that goes into an email was shocking to me, from subject line testing vs. title line testing, template testing, customer group testing, button vs. link testing and way more all done together with mixed variables to find the best email to send to each customer group. I completely love A/B testing because of that experience because the results are instant and you can maximize your profit or exposure with one simple click after. I can see the similarities of A/B testing that the e-commerce store did and how Wikipedia did to request donations, but I couldn't really put my finger on which metric they were using to decide the winning line, and if they were breaking down further via user type. It'd be interesting to see more information on their testing. 8isfate (talk) 04:07, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

8isfate, excellent response. BTW: These need not exceed 250 words and I updated the syllabus with the following: "In this class, QICs are supposed to be a bit easier/quicker than a full reading response, but you should still consult 'The Craft of Reading' and 'What Makes a Good Response.'" -Reagle (talk) 16:10, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC1 A/B testing is innovative because it essentially allows for any idea's efficacy to be proven in real time through accurate data consolidations. The ideas do not need to be drastic or history-altering either as anything from small design details, minor copy alterations, or image selections can democratically be tested (Christian, 2012). However, A/B testing is reliant on whether there is an audience to offer that information. For websites such as Google, Amazon, or Wikipedia, there is a constant stream of organic viewers and participants that are essentially at these sites' disposal.

QIC2: While reading "The scientists who make apps addictive" I found myself relating the concepts outlined directly to what I had just personally experienced. I had to drag myself off my phone to start to read the article. Although I do enjoy learning about subjects I am interested in (like this class) I knew subconsciously that the task would be both harder and probably less outwardly entertaining than the tiktoks that I had been scrolling through. When connecting back to app design, I really think that TikTok did it well. Similarly to what the article was outlining, the creators have made it extremely easy to navigate the app, have created an algorithm to make viewers see what they want to see, and have created a system that delivers rapid successional doses of dopamine from the videos. It is brilliant and effective, and maybe a bit dangerous. One that comes to mind is the way that the positive portrayal of eating disorders comes out on the app. The "what I eat in a day" Tiktoks likely do what the article was describing. With every like / comment / share, the creator gets a sense of validation and happiness. This validation turns into an addiction which further perpetrates the underlying issue with these videos.

I think I should note that I agree with the article. I do not think that the creators of these apps are inherently evil or hope to cause harm to their users. I would assume they are much like the people they found at the conventions, hipsters from San Fransisco. Sure, they might be motivated by money, but that is the world we live in. What worries me is the motivations of the creators on the app. How sharing these videos in such an addicting manner impacts the greater community. Same can be said for most social media platforms, but I would argue TikTok is doing it best right now. TessBroll (talk) 15:48, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

TessBroll, what do you mean by "best"? -Reagle (talk) 16:19, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

Sep 25 Fri - Wikipedia project start[edit]


Sep 29 Tue - Kohn on motivation[edit]

4th QIC: I don’t read. I can read. But do I like to read? No. My whole life has been one big struggle to get me to read and enjoy it. I only read on the beach because it is the only environment that doesn’t have any expectations. Reading has always been extrinsically motivated for me. It has always been put in the contexts Kohn (1999) mentions: expecting evaluation, being under a deadline, competition, and being ordered to. Kohn (1999) said “anything presented as a prerequisite for something else – that is, as a means toward some other end – comes to be seen as less desirable.” That quote stuck out to me, because finishing a book or article I have to read always feels like a hill I must climb, rather than a smooth road that might become a dead end if I so choose.

We can’t forget that we are editing Wikipedia articles because it’s for this class. A capstone, no less. I worry that when we really kickstart our research and writing, I will become less excited to complete this project. But Kohn’s (1999) solutions to extrinsic motivators, such as making the reward similar to the task, or giving people choice about how rewards are used, gives me peace of mind. I chose the topic. I love Elton John. I love ballet. I’m genuinely excited to learn about my topic, which is intrinsic motivation at its core. - TM21NU (talk) 23:12, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC 2: "Someday I want to write for myself, not you, professor" is a quote I clearly remember from a classmate's essay last year. This quote is rephrased in Whitacre's (2013) essay in "the social structure emerges from the self-determination of the individual..." In all my class writing assignments, I have worked hard to fulfill the requirements that are expected of me. And it's those same essays that I barely remember and hold no pride for. I worked as hard enough that my writing would positively fit the requirements that were expected of me; the effort I put in had would always have one audience, my professor, and the stakes were usually a bit low in the grand scheme of things.

Whitacre (2013) mentions "...the effort comes first...I jump. Then the net appears." Of the essays I've written in college, the one I wrote last year is the only one I remember. It was the first essay that was vulnerable to the public and endured, at times, harsh commentary. It's the only one I continue to reopen in order to re-edit it. Since then, I decided that I would make all of my major essays and projects worthwhile. So this Wikipedia project will become something more meaningful than just another letter grade. I'm excited to create a project that will be exposed to the public, and more importantly, to become more accustomed to the unfamiliarity of public forums where the stakes are higher. Crohbar (talk) 09:42, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Crohbar, this is why I try to have a public facing project in each of my courses. I'm curious: what was your classmate writing about/for, and what was the public-facing assignment? -Reagle (talk) 20:28, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Reagle, It was for our Political Communication class! The assignment was to write a personal long-form narrative that was inherently rooted in politics--my classmate wrote her paper on how various male role models shaped how she became the woman she is today (while simultaneously commenting on how anti-feminist that inherently is to her personal story). The professor essentially chose essays that he considered 'publishable' and subjected those writings to intense scrutiny during the class. Everyone's topics were extremely personal so at times it was really difficult for us to hear the criticism but it was definitely the first time I really felt like I was writing something for myself, rather than the grade.Crohbar (talk) 06:45, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 2: My mom used to say, “I’ll give you 100 Baizas for each fly you kill.” And younger me felt like she struck gold. Within 30 minutes, I was swatting the last fly and yelled “12!”. My mother paid me out 1 Omani Rial and 200 Baizas (the equivalent of approximately 3 dollars). After that, I had only swatted a fly if it bothered me. Before she rewarded me, I used to just swat the flies on my own because I would imagine I was in a jungle fending for my life. Her reward made me lose my motivation as Deci, Lepper, and Birch’s studies all conclude to.

My question is, how does different cultural and racial backgrounds play into this concept? If kids of different socio-economical statuses act differently due to their financial status (i.e. lower-class kids would be more motivated with extrinsic contexts), wouldn’t a topic such as the intersection of race and culture have a similar affect? For example, a black woman in a very successful yet predominantly white male company might be less motivated intrinsically to perform well in the company as she may feel like any rewards are, by virtue, of her being tokenized. However, extrinsically the fact that she is a minority in the company might speak to the difficulty of getting the job as a black woman in general, so she might be motived to stick with the job for outside acclaim, or purely for the money. 8isfate (talk) 15:34, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC 3: I was going to write my own response but realized that the primary realization that I had correlated very much with what you have described here. Kohn describes in the article how rewards systems often create detrimental long term effects. This made me think back to a couple classmates I had in school who would be paid by their parents if they got good grades. I clearly remember how confused this strategy made me, as I was raised in a household where my parents expected me to get "good" grades and also expected me to want to get good grades. For me, the reward was the grade. I clearly remember the transition from elementary school to high school, where the incentive of 20 dollars for a good grade no longer mattered, and sometimes no longer existed. The motivation to continue on without the incentive often did impact the effort displayed in school by these friends. For me, I was still incentivised to do well. Potentially due to the way it would impact my future school choices. Your response this made me consider how socio-economic standing might have impacted this.
Looking back, all those friends who were paid by their parents for good grades did come from money. They were also the students who went to expensive universities despite the average grades of high school. In my personal experience, although I was also privledged enough to grow up in a comfortable household, I worked hard throughout elementary school and high school so that I could get into an acclaimed school due to merit (and also to get financial aid). Other than that, there were never any additional incentives besides seeing my name printed on the honor roll. I wonder if that stemmed from the way I was raised to view money and wealth, or if that might have just directly correlated to the theories outlined in Kohn's article. TessBroll (talk) 16:58, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

QIC 1: While reading Kohn's article, I kept thinking about the studies Kohn references and the conclusions he draws from them in reference to myself and my own personal motivations for doing things, and I find them in conflict with the overall conclusions Kohn has. Some of them I found very applicable, especially when he talks about how in rewarding behavior we are often killing off a person's interest in said behavior (Kohn, 1999). In my personal life, I find this to be true but only to an extent. Some months ago I was offered a chunk of money for one of the stories I post online, in that the person would pay me to have my story hosted on their website, under the conditions that I post chapters to their website first instead of my usual website. However, even with the extrinsic motivation of money and increased viewership, I still found myself not taking that person up on their offer. There were other factors in my decision but ultimately a lot of my choice was based on the idea that getting paid for my work would make it feel more like a job and less like a hobby, and that isn't something I wanted right now as I felt it wouldn't give me the proper motivation. However, where I find discord with Kohn's argument is that all extrinsic motivation leads to killed off interest. For me with writing, recieving comments is probably my main motivation factor, and while sometimes I feel like I'm writing just for the comments, it's often the comments inspiring me to write and making me genuinely more interested in my own writing, rather than it feeling like a chore. Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:00, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Oct 02 Fri - Relational commitment[edit]

... QIC5: “Comment systems can be good, big, cheap – pick two” (Reagle, 2015). This quote particularly stood out to me because being big and cheap is the opposite of Kraut et al (2011) designs to increase online commitment. “Large communities with large volumes of communication reduce bonds-based commitment unless some means of clustering communication is used.” That right there is emphasizing to avoid a large platform (big). If you do, at least enforce a method that can streamline connection to not overwhelm the crowd (most likely not cheap). Twitter used to be “edgy and intimate” (Reagle, 2015). It most likely “provided opportunities for members to engage in personal conversation” (Kraut et al, 2011). But now Twitter is oversaturated and has become a platform filled with comments, rather than the online community it seemed to be intended as.

I’ve already noticed some of the design claims Kraut et al (2011) established on Wikipedia. Allowing participation under a pseudonym, providing profile pages to increase self-disclosure, and even displaying information about member’s recent activities. These are all designs that Wikipedia has implemented that I think solidify the community aspects of being a Wikipedian. I don’t think there needs to a massive change to increase the commitment of Wikipedians to the site. Even though it is not a comment system, Wikipedia has seemed to achieve a platform that hits all three points: good, big, and cheap. - TM21NU (talk) 00:30, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, excellent connections! -Reagle (talk) 16:23, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC2: While reading through Reagle's first chapter, specifically on fortifying comment sections, it brought to mind a rather unique comment situation I once ran into on a YouTube video, a 1hr 30min video essay titled "The Legend of Korra is Garbage and Here's Why" by Lily Orchard. For context, the show Legend of Korra is a sequel show to Avatar: the Last Airbender, a show often considered one of the greatest in western animation. While Korra was critically acclaimed, the fan reception was more mixed for Korra than it was for Avatar; all this to say, a long video essay completely tearing the show to shreds was bound to leave a very contentious comment section, which it did. However, the uniqueness of this was rather than simply disabling the comment section or choosing not to reply to comments, the video creator would reply to a dissenting opinion, but not allow further replies to their reply. While the creator claimed this was an issue with YouTube and they would've had to manually approve any replies (something I've never seen on YouTube before), the situation itself provided an interesting halfway point between disabled and non-disabled comments: viewers were more than welcome to comment, but because they could not reply to the creator's comment on their own comment, it created what seemed like a very stifled-out comment section. By joining in on discussion but not allowing others to reply or rebut seems to defeat the purpose of facilitating a discussion in the first place--to me, it seems like the more "fair" option would've been to either not reply to comments, or completely disable them. While no one is entitled to a creator's feedback, to set up a comment section like this where people cannot reply to creator replies seems unnecessarily one-sided, and in poor community etiquette. Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:25, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC4: I found the portion describing "Bonds-based commitment" as extremely fascinating. Kraut et al describes in detail the ways in which our online communities bond us together with other people, people that we have never even met. This made me think to the days in which my best friend was an avid One Direction fan. She was part of numerous online communities that were centered around this boy band. The people inclusive in these groups were so intensely bonded together that to this day she would consider some of these girls her closest friends. It is important to note that even some of these girls, she has never met in person. The bond between people in communities should never be underestimated. Milgram's concept of the "familiar stranger" (1977) directly correlates to this example. When even just the identities of strangers in a community are known, a bond is formed. This bond is even further strengthened when these people find themselves in more than one similar community. The more connections, the more mutual friends, the more common ground, the more intense the attachment can get.

As I reconnect to the concept of online communities bonded over musical groups, I think it is important to also call attention to what Kraut et al had to say in regards to self-disclosure. When there is a mutual bond over something emotional, something important, the chances are higher of greater self-disclosure. I remember my friend explaining to me the way she bonded with a complete stranger over how a certain song at a certain concert brought them both to tears. They communicated about this specific instance over an online platform, and because of it created a bond not like any other she had. Both disclosed why they had a similar reaction to the song, something very personal, and despite only connecting over an online platform they became deeply bonded. These online communities are a space where these unique relationships can be formed and maintained. TessBroll (talk) 17:07, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 06 Tue - Needs-based and lock-in[edit]

...QIC 6: “Having a Facebook account and actually using Facebook are two different things” (Duncan, 2016). I find this to be very relatable to my Facebook habits. The last status update I had was my obligatory “sharing my latest dance performance” video back in October of 2019. While I know last night, I made a random tweet about a movie I was watching, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I shared something on Facebook just to…say something.

While Facebook has done a bad job of keeping me engaged and active on the site, it has done a great job of not getting rid of me altogether. My relationship with Facebook started as affective commitment and has now become entirely need-based (Kraut et al, 2011). To leave Facebook would mean I would be without information that certain communities provide that I can’t get anywhere else. This resembles the claim that “showing information about other communities in the same ecological niche” would reduce that need-based commitment that keeps me to Facebook (Kraut et al, 2016). How would I find out about a random vintage pop up that will be open in Brookline this weekend without Facebook? Could the Northeastern community use a different platform to create the various confession and poll groups that have gained popularity? Probably not. The thing about Facebook is that (almost) everyone has Facebook, so you can’t leave it without leaving something behind, and that’s need-based commitment at its core. - TM21NU (talk) 21:33, 2 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 3: The headline of Felicity Duncan’s article, “So long social media: the kids are opting out of the online public square”, is a bit of an exaggeration. Kids are not leaving social media; social media is advancing and the platforms that aren't advancing along with it are becoming obsolete. Duncan mentions Facebook and how more than 11 million young people have fled it since 2011 and the possible reasons as to why that is, and the dangers it may allude to. Specifically, Duncan says this about political activity migrating online to social media, “the exodus of the young could mean that they become less exposed to important social justice issues and political ideas”. I have to disagree with this on the basis that Facebook isn’t all of social media. People leaving Facebook does not mean that they aren't being exposed to important social justice issues, it could simply mean that they just don't like the format of that platform. In comparison there's a lot of social justice activity done on Twitter, and Instagram (owned by Facebook).

A question does arise on one of the reasons the young leave that we need to be more critical of. Duncan mentions that the line between the professional side and the personal side is getting blurred. Meaning that employers are actively searching through social media accounts to find whether a candidate is a good fit for their company. Where does this cross the already blurred line of free speech? How can we confirm that this doesn’t lead to discrimination and harassment? - 8isfate (talk) 15:58, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

8isfate, yes, if anything, if people are leaving Facebook they are likely lessening their exposure to misinformation. -Reagle (talk) 16:58, 6 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 3: "...people will be satisfied with fewer benefits will tolerate more some of the unpleasantness associated with any group membership when they have fewer alternatives available." (Kraut et all, 2011, p 107). While reading over this line in the text, one of the first web communities that came to mind is Tumblr, a social networking site that still continues to persist even with its abhorrent management. As an (unfortunate) active member of Tumblr, it's a prime example to me of a group of people where most of them hate the platform the community is hosted on, yet still refuse to leave. The website definitely saw a shift at the end of 2018 when nsfw content was banned, but while people on the site expected that to be the end-all be-all of Tumblr, my personal experience on the site hasn't really changed much over the past few years, as the sense of community still thrives, mainly due to lack of alternatives, or lack of better alternatives.

Many people on the site thought there would be a dramatic shift of users to Twitter, where nsfw content is still allowed, users didn't leave Tumblr in droves as people thought they would. Despite all it's faults, Tumblr is still one of the best sites for hosting fanworks. For one, there's no character limit on posts, making it already a better place for writers as they don't have to split their prose into threads. Along with this, there's a much better (though still very faulty) tagging system on tumblr that allows for works to be more widely seen even if the user doesn't have a high follower count. Also, Tumblr still shows your feed in chronological order, rather than an algorithm showing what it thinks you want to see. For those reasons and others, fandom persists on tumblr due to the lack of similar options which provide the same experience that Tumblr does. Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:00, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Mambonumber7, yes, tumblr has some advantages of "lock-in" and "network effects." -Reagle (talk) 16:58, 6 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 5: I am going to pose an entirely different argument than what author Felicity Duncan has to say in "So long social media: the kids are opting out of the online public square" I would argue that people are not fleeing these sites, but rather choosing to post more on more intimate forms of social media. I can only speak on my personal experiences, and maybe the experiences of those who I am close to, but I do think we are the demographic she is speaking of. I still have my facebook, although I rarely use it. Like the author says, I occasionally use it for messaging, but primarily for groups and events. Smaller and more personal communities within the Facebook world are what I currently interact with the most. I more commonly take to my private Instagram profile, which has a smaller amount of closer friends. With the warnings on posting your personal life on a "professional" platform, I do prefer communities that are more strictly monitored by myself. In regards to what I share and how I communicate, I think that I have shared more and communicated more on those smaller platforms than I ever had on Facebook. This is inclusive of political conversations as addressed later by Duncan.

Duncan states; "As more and more political activity migrates online, and social media play a role in a number of important social movement activities, the exodus of the young could mean that they become less exposed to important social justice issues and political ideas." I would very much disagree with this. I think that by moving away from social media like facebook and moving towards smaller online community spaces, we get more information. In fact, there is rarely a day that goes by where I do not receive an Instagram direct message from a friend with a political headline. Just because we are not active on the homescreen of Facebook, does not mean we are moving away from obtaining news. Additionally, even if there is a widespread migration to applications like Snapchat, those too now have news functions. They have questionable stories, but nonetheless they are accessible. TessBroll (talk) 16:43, 6 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 1: Felicity Duncan's article on why kids are opting out of the online public square is very peculiar and interesting. Duncan states that her primary research lead to the conclusion that there are 3 main reasons why kids were opting out of public squares. One of these reasons happens to be privacy, as family members were able to like pictures or interact with kids. The question I pose is what did adults actually think was going to happen? Regardless of the time and age we are in, some things haven't changed much. That does include kids wanting to be kids and mischievous when they possibly can. Without social forums or online public squares, kids would still want to live out their adolescent years away from parents or other adults. For this reason, my outlook is that this isn't necessarily kids removal from a public square, rather kids wanting to be kids away from their adult family relatives or friends just like they would in real life. Furthermore, I chuckled at the recognizable fact that Duncan states in her article, "pictures and post will be online forever". This most definitely holds true. The reason I found it so amusing is because this point was reiterated to me a thousands times throughout high school. I guess what I'm trying to say is good job to all the adults out there who struck fear into young adults like myself and kids about the dangers of online digital footprint. Your powers hold true, as I not only left the Facebook community but I am also very conscious of what I put on to online public spheres. (talk) 13:00, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 09 Fri - Ethics (interlude)[edit]

...QIC 7: It isn't surprising to me that one professor held 40 students to a higher standard for ethical online community research than Facebook and OkCupid. I think it all comes back to asking for consent and making it apparent throughout. While Bruckman’s (2006) class was exempt from getting written documentation of consent, there were still many steps in place to make sure the subjects and students understand what they would be getting into. Bruckman discouraged online interviews and “never record otherwise ephemeral interactions.” They don’t openly tell site users they are researchers, but they never deceive them and lie. Meanwhile, “Facebook did not state in the Data use Policy that user data would be used for research purpose” (Wikipedia, 2016). They just never asked for consent at all.

While I agree that Facebook and OkCupid should be more ethical and transparent with their data usage and research methods, OkCupid did make a point. “If you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work” (Rudder, 2014). It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you’re using a website for free, you become the commodity. If a website isn’t selling a service to you, you are being sold somewhere. That’s how most of these websites keep operating. - TM21NU (talk) 23:18, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, have you seen this comic? -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 9 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 3: The concept of privacy in our modern age is something that should be taken with nuance. It's almost impossible and would be near foolish to say that your personal information or your personal habits aren't logged into an algorithm somewhere. Bruckman's (2016) article illustrates a very classically academic way of collecting information ethically from people. While the various precautions the professor of that class took should ideally be emulated more in real life, consent to personal data mining is not really a reality for two reasons. One, because privacy laws for US citizens using apps/platforms are set up in favor of corporations rather than users, (even when comparing the US to other countries, we don't have anything close to the GDPR where users can opt IN). Two, because realistically, most users enjoy (or think they enjoy) the perks of personal data mining. Getting recommendations on apps based on past purchasing preferences, seeing compatibility stats on datings apps (even though OKCupid revealed their motives were more for company research rather than to help individuals), or discovering new trends/friends on social media based on your interest history--these are all perks that more or less, most people expect from companies.

Personally, while the term "nonconsensual dating collection" sounds frightening, I'm also aware that I get annoyed/am less likely to use a platform when I have to constantly re-type my password in or don't get personalized recommendations. Like OKCupid's article said, it's true that the moment we use the internet we become the product. However, we also are an entity that is being sold that product. As mentioned before, nuance is required because there are definitely comfort limits to the collection of private information but I think it's important to see both sides to the situation. Crohbar (talk) 15:51, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Crohbar, where would you draw the limits? -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Reagle, I was going to share this article with you before class but I completely forgot!
Crohbar, thanks, we discuss that in the Digital Age class, and how the Target story is a bit of an urban legend. -Reagle (talk) 19:44, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

It has to do with privacy and data collection and how Target’s algorithms were able to predict a pregnancy and accidentally alerted an entire family before the mother was able to disclose the information herself. I know I stated there’s nuance to the whole data collection concept within the realms of privacy but I think this would be my limit. It’s hard for me to describe with full confidence what I think it my hardline regarding this topic but I think health data collection/predictions for marketing purposes is definitely bordering on being extremely unethical. Though my beliefs are always subject to change. Crohbar (talk) 19:32, 9 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 6: I found the article on Ok Cupid to be quite fascinating, as I have spent the past couple weeks analyzing dating apps. I had personally noticed the feature on Hinge that suggests that you and another user are considered "most compatible." This was always an interesting concept to me as I never thought that my profile was a good indictor of who I actually was, and thus had little faith in an apps ability to designate a compatible match. When reading the "We Experiment on Humans!" article, the compatibility matter came up again. Christian Rudder states; "We asked: does the displayed match percentage cause more than just that first message — does the mere suggestion cause people to actually like each other? As far as we can measure, yes, it does. When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other." This is fascinating to me because quite frankly — I might believe them. If anything, out of curiosity, I might be interested. This then becomes an ethical matter. Is it ethical to propose a good match if there is really nothing to back it up? It might seem harmless in most aspects, but a suggestion without a reason to me seems unethical. It makes me less trusting of sites that are supposed to serve a purpose.

This then encouraged me to look into more modern day algorithms on dating apps. I looked into Hinge as that was the app I noticed this feature on. They use something called the "Gale-Shapley" algorithm to suggest compatibility to another user. The Gale-Shapley algorithm is based off a few questions you answer when you originally join the app. These questions are pretty light hearted, like asking what kind of food you prefer or dream dinner guest. They then use this alongside your basic preferences to suggest matches. This, after actually understanding the algorithm, seems more ethical to me. Also more authentic. For myself personally, I have less of an issue with these types of experiments as long as I understand how and why they're being used. TessBroll (talk) 16:45, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

TessBroll, and it's near impossible to understand how and why are data are used given typical terms of services and privacy disclosures... -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 13 Tue - Regulation and pro-social norms[edit]

...QIC 8: When I think of the online communities I regularly use, YouTube has the toughest task of keeping users following norms and rules, and sometimes goes too far.

YouTube has created guidelines for all videos posted on the site. While it does moderate comment sections, YouTube puts a lot of effort into making sure their videos are appropriate and advertiser-friendly. If a video does not follow YouTube’s guidelines, they can also demonetize the videos. YouTube has implemented ways to make sure demonetization is used for appropriate times. While Kraut et al. (2011) imply reversion tools can undo the damage caused by trolls, YouTube’s editor tool can let creators edit out the sections YouTube deems unfriendly. If your video results in your account getting a strike, YouTube gives “a chance to argue one’s case” (Kraut et al., 2011) so demonetization claims can be reversed if they were used unfairly.

Demonetization is a great tool to show that you mean business when it comes to rulebreakers, but YouTube has had a pattern of letting it get out of hand. Creators who use YouTube as a source of income need to make sure that their videos comply with YouTube, so they don’t have to risk losing money. YouTube has probably made many advertisers happy with these rules, but it has made its core community very upset at the constant policing. YouTube must figure out who they want to please more: their community or their wallet. - TM21NU (talk) 19:40, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, I think this is you. If so, please sign. -Reagle (talk) 17:19, 13 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 4: “Trolls and manipulators are outsiders who have no vested interest in the community functioning well” (Kraut & Resnick, 2012, p. 128). When I think about trolls, the number one platform that comes to mind is Twitter. I have multiple accounts on Twitter dedicated to specific fandoms. Across all my accounts, I have seen trolls infiltrate specific fandoms just to make the fandom, and the group they are dedicated to, look bad. They use false and/or exaggerated information to do so, or they simply say horrendous things “as part of the fandom”.

The most common trolls you'll find on Twitter, based on my experience at least, are part of K-pop Twitter. Trolls will take any situation and quote tweet or reply to the tweet with a fan cam of a group they supposedly support. This sounds harmless enough, but they tend to do so at the expense of others; for instance, if a famous person passes away and there is a trending hashtag, some trolls will use the hashtag to promote a fan cam of a group just to make K-pop fans, that specific fandom, and/or the group look bad. Twitter as a platform doesn't really have a policy against fake information and it doesn’t have much limitations on videos unless reported as spam. The effects I've noticed from trolls that Reagle (2010) references from Wikipedia (2009q) with regards to disruptive contributors is they can, “alienate other contributors who in turn become a wellspring of resentment and negativity, which will worsen the alienation caused by the disruptive contributors”. Meaning other fans will now be less likely to contribute to the community because the trolls soured the experience. - 8isfate (talk) 00:55, 13 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 7: “The effects of dogmatism in producing defensiveness are well known. Those who seem to know the answers, who require no additional data, and who regard themselves as teachers rather than as co-workers tend to put others on guard”. Therefore, certainty is reflective of the dogmatic communicator’s need “to be right, wanting to win, and seeing his ideas as truths to be defended”. However, the person taking a provisional approach is seen “to be investigating issues rather than taking sides”, “to be problem-solving rather than debating on them”, and to be willing to experiment and explore; this communicates to the listener that she may have some control “over the shared quest or the investigation of the ideas”. “If a person is genuinely searching for information and data, he does not resent help or company along the way” (Gibb, 1961, p. 148).

I really appreciate the focus on collaborative effort displayed particularly on Wikipedia. When Gibb emphasizes the shared quest for information, I think that is at the heart of the discussion. After all these rules and regulations, at the end of the day we use these communities and platforms for a reason. We want something from these communities, whether that be a place to connect, to participate, to learn, to be heard. When you strip away the authoritative aspects of people, I do believe we often share the same core desires. I think that the regulations that need to be upheld the most is this understanding that everyone deserves to not only have a voice, but also to be heard. There should not be "winning" or "losing", rather there should be mediated discussion. The willingness to explore ideas and collaborate rather than speak over each-other or claim superiority is massively important in the polarized world we live in. Many people preach equality but preach it so loud they talk over those who are subject to inequality. TessBroll (talk) 15:29, 13 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 4: I think the concept of 'trolls' is something that's often seen as being something binary--a bad person on the internet looking solely to wreak havoc in online communities that will be put down by an all-knowing overseer. "One of the ways that trolls are able to disrupt is by eliciting reactions from community members that create strife within the community" (Kraut & Resnick, 2012, p. 135). As someone who has been part of moderator groups, I've had to deal with people getting too excited or out of hand with their edits/comments but interestingly, I also had a situation with a moderator who was inadvertently creating problems in the forum because of how adamant they believed their decision was correct. It became a situation where the moderator became a troll while trying to control the actions of the original troll.

Kraut makes an interesting comment when he states "As more people become experienced with participating in online communities, it may get easier for communities to follow a norm of ignoring trolls." The problematic moderator was someone who was new to the job and felt as though the people involved in the forum (and weren't moderators) were subject to his decision, which he thought was final. The idea of moderating the moderators is something to be considered as people who overlook communities are often seen with an authoritative image. The book mentions 'gags' and 'bans' which was essentially how this person went about 'moderating'. By deleting comments, responding with passive aggressive comments (with the moderating main account), they not only participated in the trolling but also made many members lose faith in the whole moderating team. Crohbar (talk) 16:23, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 16 Fri - Norm compliance and breaching[edit]

...QIC 9: The “breaching experiment” (Wikipedia) page should be called the forced embarrassment page. As Erving Goffman argues (as referenced in Wikipedia) “the most common rule in all social situations is for the individual to ‘fit in’.” If someone were to break that common rule or question the “expectancies” of society, you are deemed sick, mentally ill, or at its best…odd.

I find it especially interesting how expectancies in online communities change over time. You are expected to keep track of changing norms, so you don’t seem odd within your community. While “increased community cohesion [and]…explicit rules (Kraut et al., 2011) can help deter bad behavior, most sites don’t outline how to follow unwritten norms, as they are unwritten. Take Instagram. When Instagram was first developed, using a lot of hashtags was encouraged to expand your reach. Now, using many hashtags in your post might deem you as desperate or out of touch. This isn’t a norm that Instagram itself outlined. It’s what users learned overtime. A constant presence in your online community might be the only way to understand how to follow both written and unwritten norms. - TM21NU (talk) 20:25, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

TM21NU, good example, hopefully we can think of more in class. -Reagle (talk) 17:03, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 5: Design number 24 brings up an interesting point. The general assumption is that people who act outside of social norms are those who are not fully integrated into a community/society and therefore are deinviduated. According to many of Zimbardo's (1969) experiments, the more likely suggestion is that those who fit in more within a society are actually more likely to engage in antinormative behavior because they are able to hide themselves.

This is something that really clicked with me because society often sees CEOs and billionaires as 'examples' of success even though most CEOs have been reported to be sociopaths and psychopaths. It's very clear they are willing to exploit people and exacerbate climate change all for profit but they are still looked up to by society. Zimbardo (1969) called the process of people hiding under a social acceptable 'face' as "white robing." If someone went into the forests and set everything on fire, they would be called an arsonist or a psychopath (or both). But when these CEOs and their corporate businesses destroy entire sections of the rainforests, not many call out CEOS as being psychopaths but rather comment on how under capitalism forces businesses to destroy ecosystems. I think this study is helpful in the reexamination of social norms and how these 'norms' can facilitate anti-norm behavior. Crohbar (talk) 01:03, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Crohbar, remind me in class to discuss the white robe experiments. -Reagle (talk) 17:03, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 4: While reading this chapter of Kraut et al., one community that came to mind, specifically while reading over claim 22, was r/amitheasshole on reddit. The claim is that community members will be more willing to comply with rules if the community as a whole has influence on those rules and what they should be. On the flip side of this, people are less willing to comply with those norms, or stay in the community at all, if users feel their own input isn't being taken into consideration when those rules are being made. The example of Digg, with members acting in outrage and deflecting from the community after feeling the mods weren't acting in the community's best interest and exerting too much power over the community, is similar to how some users of r/amitheasshole felt with some of the rule changes. A key example of this would be when mods took away the rule of "no validation posts", where they encouraged users not to post judgement stories that were obviously one-sided, especially in the case of OP being in the right. This, along with the rule of not being allowed to call out shitposts (the rule being that users must address OP in good faith), caused some users to deflect as users did with Digg, feeling the sub was being overly moderated at the detriment to the community, being that blatantly one-sided "NTA" posts were mostly the only ones becoming popular on the subreddit, taking away from the original intended purpose of the sub, being that of a place to receive impartial judgement on situations where there's genuine conflict on who may be the asshole in the situation or not. Much like the deflected Digg users flocked to Reddit, many of the disenfranchised AITA users created and came to a new subreddit, r/amitheangel, which is essentially a circlejerk subreddit to point out the flaws and make fun of the AITA community. While it's different in that r/amitheangel isn't exactly a competitor to r/amitheasshole as reddit was to Digg, it is an example of what happens when this type of community influence isn't taken into consideration. Mambonumber7 (talk) 12:50, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Mambonumber7, interesting! BTW: I think you mean "defect," and try to break up mega-paragraphs like this into coherent ones. -Reagle (talk) 17:03, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 8: The "Studies In ETHNOMETHODOLOGY" I found extremely interesting and relevant. I have actually experienced some of the cases that were discussed in the piece. Harold Garfinkle did an excellent job describing the day to day norms that no one really questions. In fact, even thinking now back on my day, I am overwhelmed by the amount of assumptions I made based on what I would decipher as normative behavior. I particularly liked case 6. The question we ask people every day, probably multiple times a day. "How are you?" This question is so common and I find myself answering it so robotically every time. In fact, if I was to pay attention to what my response would be, it would be in efforts to say "I am well" rather than "I am good". Why do we not consider this question more? Why do we get frustrated when people ask what they mean by that question? Why do we answer "good" or "fine" when we are far from either. I think it is because the normalcies of day to day life are due to the way we interact and live. I have noticed and observed more so recently how rushed life was at a certain point. Even if I was not late, I was always in such a hurry to my next task, and to get through the day. It was due to this mentality that I would often myself get frustrated when people didn't respond to my polite "how are you?" with the normal brisk response. Its not necessarily that I didn't care, but an in depth conversation didn't typically fit into my "normal" rushed routine.

It makes me think of some of the actions we take online. Instagram for example. I find myself almost hypnotically liking the posts that I see on my timeline. I could check the posts that I liked in the past and feel as if I had hardly even seen it. Today I tried something different. I went through my timeline and every post that I genuinely did like, I liked. I also left a comment saying why I liked it so much. It forced me to slow down, and I think added more meaning to my actions and the actions I was taking in that particular community. Much like the "How are you?" question. If I slowed down, and both specifically asked in what capacity someone is doing, and also gave a legitimate answer when asked myself, I think that would add meaning to the community I was participating in. It is funny how breaking away from a "norm" can add such meaning and value. Deciding to take note of robotic actions and interactions could really alter the way I operate in day to day life. TessBroll (talk) 14:49, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

TessBr, interesting experiment! -Reagle (talk) 17:12, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 5: — Preceding unsigned comment added by 8isfate (talkcontribs) 19:15, 16 October 2020 (UTC) In a sociologist’s view, “the moral order con­sists of the rule governed activities of everyday life” (Garfinkel, 1967, p. 35). We are all following set of societal norms that is not inherently written down anywhere. From the way we dress, to the way we speak or not speak, or from the way we shake hands, to the way we sit on the train; we are governed by expectations and rules to fit in these social situations (Breaching experiment, n.d.). I studied Goffman’s research on Faces. He states that people every day people are like actors preparing for a stage. The minute before you step out of your own individual presence, you put on a face for the people to see. Faces are interchangeable and include everything that I've mentioned before like clothes to even walking style. Your face can establish your status in society, but it can also give insight in aspects of your personality.

I have a question with Milgram’s experiment: Response to intrusion into waiting lines. My question is did Milgram take into account gender norms when he did the study? Because my hypothesis is that if a male intruder were to cut in front of a female victim, the victim would be more likely to be silent and just allow him to intrude due to the power imbalance in society. In contrast, male victims would not allow a female intruder to cut in line (especially in NYC- a busy city). -8isfate (talk) 15:56, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

8isfate, good question on gender; I don't think so. Also don't forget to number your QIC. -Reagle (talk) 17:12, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 2: Design claim 23 immediately stuck to me because of how relevant and common it is in society today: “Price, bonds and or bets that make undesirable actions more costly than desirable actions reduce misbehaviour”. I immediately thought of the entertainment aspect of sports, where athletes can be fined for undesirable actions of speech. This comes from a community of owners, who install rules and regulations. The problem with this claim in context to both the specific sporting community and online community is that some individuals have no problem facing a costy fine or bond fee. So how do you continue to reduce the undesirable action?

Well it can become unethical for online communities to sanction its users engaging in undesirable actions by raising the price too much or giving out too much of a hefty fee. The solution to this claim is then rather unknown. Just for the simple fact that one individual may be able to pay for any costly price of undesirable actions over and over again. (User talk: 13:06, 16 October 2020 (UTC), your point reminds me of our discussion of the daycare experiment about fine's simply being a fee. -Reagle (talk) 17:12, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 20 Tue - Community and collaboration[edit]

...QIC 10: “A productive contributor who cannot collaborate is not a productive contributor” (Reagle, 2010). This quote stuck out to me because it is a great representative of how Wikipedians encourage others and themselves to put in work for various articles. What I think is especially interesting about Wikipedia is that besides “assuming good faith” and writing in a “neutral point of view,” different styles of feedback can achieve different (yet positive) collaborative results.

In Zhu et al’s (2013) experiment on feedback in Wikipedia, their results found that “negative feedback and direction increase people’s efforts on focal tasks…positive feedback and social messages increase people’s general motivation to work…[and] the effects are stronger for newcomers.” I like how this shows that one type of feedback and way to encourage a member to collaborate is not effective for another. Other factors could influence this, such as a member’s senior status, but it shows that online communities can have sub-norms within their community rules. This implies collaborative norms aren’t so black and white. Everyone has their own intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to stay in a community, and feedback is just one part of it. - TM21NU (talk) 20:41, 16 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 6: While doing the readings, I found the Feedback Intervention Theory to be very interesting because it took into consideration how the levels of hierarchy, personal beliefs, and other social factors within a community might influence different reactions from people both receiving and giving feedback. Within the theory, one of the key assumptions stated was that people use their personal performance standards to gauge, when receiving feedback, if there is "a discrepancy between performance and standard" (Zhu, Zhang, Kraut, p.3). If they feel there is, they will most likely work to close the gap between them. I reflected on my personal habits in regards to peer editing and receiving grades. If a professor tells me that I need to work harder on an essay/project/etc. but I personally felt I did my best, I will probably feel frustrated while trying to figure to how to close that gap. However, if a peer of mine told me that, and I had the same feeling about my performance, I would most likely ignore them and maybe try to ask another person that I feel is in a higher hierarchy than me.

Within this same vein, I also thought about the NPOV that Prof. Reagle (2010) had mentioned in class and the readings. Reagle (2010) states that NPOV is essentially the concept of cooperation and how people who might have different beliefs will engage to get along with each other. However, the concept of FIT hierarchy comes back here as well because many Wikipedians will only consider other verifiable Wikipedians' ideas with the same respect as their own. Those who do not fall under that category are sometimes considered trolls. "Neutral" is a debated term with a different meaning depending on a person. Whether it's in the outside world or the Wiki world, I think it's fair to say that neutrality is an idealistic concept that can't really be used in action because everyone is inherently inclined to their deep personal beliefs/tendencies. Crohbar (talk) 18:39, 18 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 9: I found this particular subject to be very interesting to me as I have personally felt as if social media and online communities are often incredibly individualistic and far from neutral. From my own experience, I have found my participation to be very solitary when it comes to social media platforms. In my mind the use of platforms like Instagram and Facebook seem to be very self-promotional, in terms of presentation as well as opinions. The first time I felt any sort of collaboration was in political frameworks. This very much goes against the idea of neutrality. I can assume this differs from sites such as wikipedias they have the rules set in place, but if anything I have found that collaboration stems from polarization. I understand the importance of neutrality and collaboration on platforms that are sharing information to the general public. However in the case of other social media platforms, it is quite different from what I have found.

I have recently found myself on liberal Tiktok, which is quite astounding as I do not know why I am only just now viewing it. There are massive collaborative efforts to take conservative videos and fact check them. A current trend is the mask testing. There is a group of right wing people who claim they do not need to wear masks because they are ineffective. They attempt to demonstrate this by pushing water through them with spray bottles. Where I have seen a collaborative effort is the push back on these videos. The demonstrations from people explaining how masks actually work, and why these videos are incorrect. I think this would qualify more as critical feedback rather than any of the types outlined by Zhu, Zhang, He,Kraut, and Kittur. This feedback is far from neutral, if anything it is polarized. I have also found similar trends on other platforms as well. I wish I had more experience on more academic online communities as I feel as if what I have noticed on my platforms is different than what you may find elsewhere. TessBroll (talk) 17:04, 20 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 23 Fri - Reddit's challenges[edit]

QIC 11: We did it! Well, kind of. I saw the Northeastern Logo on r/place! I also saw the Nintendo 64 logo, Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, and even the Ikea logo. I didn’t know about r/place until the reading, and I think it is a great representation of Redditors and how Reddit handles so many different communities.

As co-founder and CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, says “all sorts of weird things can happen online.” (Marantz, 2018). I believe Reddit flourished because Huffman and 2nd co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, established a website where most of the weird stuff on the internet can have a home and get traction. Redditors liked Reddit because of its ability to discuss everything, and to discuss it freely. But with ease of restrictions comes rulebreakers and troublemakers. Trolls can get strong feedback from users because “by ignoring their provocations, you risk seeming complicit. By responding, you amplify their message.” Reddit has received bad press from letting certain (and awful) subreddits remain active. Huffman feels strongly about making sure when Reddit does restrict users, it is under a fair ruling. Instead of banning users, Reddit will ban entire subs so people won’t have a place to post rule-breaking content. Researchers found that the method works and “users participating in the banned subreddits either left the site or (for those who remained) dramatically reduced their hate speech usage” (Marantz, 2018). Obviously, Reddit can’t ban every bad subreddit, but it gives a chance for guideline following Redditors to find content that isn’t offensive. As Jessica Ashoosh, Reddit’s Head of Policy says “we have to start somewhere” (Marantz, 2018). - TM21NU (talk) 00:02, 21 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC6: Without moderation there is chaos. Online communities will eventually just have to moderate themselves even though the content on their platform will not legally harm the creators of the platform due to Section 230. They do so because they want to foster a community where everyone can feel free to speak without being caught in a chilling effect due to people targeting you for your gender, race, sexuality, etc. If places such as Reddit do not moderate these extremist ideologies, they tend to just gain more and more power leading other less powerful minorities to be unheard. I read the case on the Miami Herald newspaper where they were being sued based on a previous lawsuit against the Red Lion that ruled if a station were to publish a defaming piece about someone in a timeslot, that person should be allowed to come on to the same radio station and defend themselves. The Miami Herald case was different in that it ruled that the difference between a radio station and newspapers is scarcity: if someone doesn't like what you are writing about they can start a new newspaper, whereas if someone doesn't like what they heard on the radio it's harder to start a different radio station. So I think similarly here to the claims that the people had against Huffman for deleting subreddits Is that if you don't like Reddit there is no scarcity on the Internet: just start your own website. 8isfate (talk) 16:11, 23 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 5: Reading Marantz’s article on Reddit brought to mind a lot of issues I personally have with the platform. He discusses the distinction between free speech and hate speech, something that comes up in a lot of Reddit communities. I’m of the personal belief that any speech which is meant to inflict harm upon a marginalized group of people would be considered hate speech and doesn’t deserve the freedom of speech, but even with that definition there is, as Marantz pointed out, a lot of nuance that many people (especially Redditors) tend to see in black and white. Reddit can be a great place on the internet by simple fact that there’s a subreddit for virtually everything, and thus a great way to connect with like-minded people, but can also be a very dangerous place if hate is allowed to fester.

What the article doesn’t really address, however, is how the anonymity of Reddit plays into the hate that festers on it. While Marantz does mention that Reddit reflects the real world, which I think is an overall accurate statement, he doesn’t really mention how simply being anonymous allows people to be more bold and more vocal about their hateful opinions. In “real life”, there’s the fear of genuine consequences for speaking hate, whether professional consequences or personal. By hiding behind a screen, however, the only true fear of people spouting hate might be the fear of being banned, which is overall pretty insignificant. In some ways, I would say that this “anonymous” reflection of the world can certainly be more open, but not necessarily more truthful.

(Also as an aside, I found the part of Huffman once being allowed to edit any part of the site kind of hilarious, and it reminded me of how years ago on Tumblr, you could reblog and edit anyone’s post in any way you wish, which often led to people writing complete troll posts that looked like they were published by Tumblr staff. There was a bit of outrage about this as well, but less in the freedom of speech kind of way and more so in the hilarity of Tumblr’s inability to function as a competent social media platform.) Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:24, 23 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 7: As Huffmann states, "Reddit is a reflection of reality." Many issues that surround the controversy around banning users, pages, or comments come from individuals' perception of what the freedom of speech means and what the consequences should (or shouldn't be). Furthermore, reddit's design format places an emphasis on user's comments (unlike IG or Twitter where pretty/funny content is often what gets you more likes) While some users might label a person as being a troll, others might see the same comment and think that particular user just has a very wiry sense of humor or more brash communication style. Also, more often than not, the words 'troll' come out when a person/group disagrees with another person/group. If a person within the same group, with the same beliefs as their group, said something offensive to the other side, they would most likely not be labeled as a troll by members of their own group.

In regards to hate speech within Reddit, I think the article was good at explaining baseline things but failed to mention how certain redditors have managed to find creative ways to not get banned while still being problematic. For example, I recently encountered someone with the username "battyyyxi". When others commented how their name was offensive (because it combined 'batty' with the name of the Chinese president), the person just responded that their name wasn't meant to be racist but was a punny commentary on Chinese political discourse. I've also heard of people with usernames like "knikkers" which essentially is trying to say the n-word but spelled differently. When people again called them out, they just said they were trying to say "knickers", like underwear. In this day and age, users know the fastest track to get your thrown off a platform is to be blatantly racist. Moderating has only gotten harder because of the zero real-life consequences (since Reddit is anonymous) and because people have evolved to be more clever in presenting their problematic views. Furthermore, Reddit as a platform is constantly struggling to find the right answer to "is it a joke or is it racist?" or "is it right to remove a hot take comment that 40 users disliked when 15 people liked it?" Crohbar (talk) 16:43, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 27 Tue - Moderation[edit]

QIC 12: “Wikipedia’s openness isn’t a mistake; it’s the source of its success. A community solves problems that official leaders wouldn’t even know where there” (Swartz, as referenced in Grimmelmann, 2015). I think this accurately captures how Wikipedia differs in moderation tactics compared to other large online communities. Grimmelmann (2015) defines moderation as “the governance mechanisms that structure participation in a community to facilitate cooperation and prevent abuse.” Wikipedia thrives because everyone can wear the same hat in a community. A Wikipedian can be an owner (most likely only on their user page), moderator, author, and reader (Grimmelmann, 2015). The switching/embodying of these different roles shows that Wikipedians are the ones who run Wikipedia, rather than the owners of the platform. This is emphasized with what Grimmelmann (2015) describes as to how Wikipedians use “’soft security’ which works through ‘group dynamics rather than hard-coded limits’.” If Wikipedia were to enlist hard limits and rules, rather than letting Wikipedians govern themselves and create their own norms and guidelines, more people might be likely to break the rules. To me, if a dedicated group of users informs me of the rules to a platform, I would be more inclined to respect them because I know real people crafted these norms. I also think that the idea of collaboration is ingrained in Wikipedia’s survival as a platform, so going against others for your own gain would make things much harder for those who want to write and edit articles so many people use. - TM21NU (talk) 23:07, 23 October 2020 (UTC)


QIC 10: "...Moreover, community size interacts with the effectiveness of the forms of moderation. Growth is often notably unkind to social norms. It is easier to maintain any given norm in a smaller community than a larger one. As a community grows, it becomes easier for individuals and groups to resist a norm. This breakdown makes it harder to use social norms to moderate large communities. A group of twenty can operate by unspoken consensus in a way that a group of twenty thousand cannot. Thus, decentralized moderation becomes increasingly attractive as the community grows because it fragments the community into smaller subcommunities that can maintain their own norms."

I tried to relate this to a community that I am actively part of and best example I could think of once again is Tiktok. I could only imagine how hard it would be to moderate such a vast community, especially one that is inclusive of so many social and cultural differences. I have heard of content creators being frustrated that moderators had removed their video because their chest was showing too much on film through their shirt. And yet, other posts depicting and possibly perpetuating domestic abuse are yet to be taken down. How is one allowed to be circulated but the other is not? Not only is there a question of where the line is to be drawn, but how many lines are to be drawn and what kind of lines. What is considered appropriate and relevant when you have an app being used by children age five to adults age 90+? How best to educate while censor and how best censor in ethical ways. These communities have outrageous amounts of power in themselves, and I could imagine how out of control it could get. I think the way they have managed to moderate such communities is learning the identity of their individual viewers and to subject them primarily to videos that they would find to be appropriate. Essentially, give the conservative videos to those who want to suppress liberalism, and more edgy videos to those who have demonstrated they're okay with it. Hence the concept of different "tiktoks." It is an unconventional method of moderation but I think it is the most effective when dealing with so many sub communities within one larger online community. -(talk) 13:01, 27 October 2020 (UTC) TessBroll (talk) 17:29, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 1: Of the features of online communities, moderation is probably the hardest to both implement and control. After reading the Grimmelmann one quote I really liked goes as follows, "Solving both problems at once is particularly tricky because the most natural way to protect infrastructure is to discourage intensive use by limiting access, while the most natural way to promote the sharing of information is to encourage extensive use by opening up access" This quote in particular represents a huge paradox that moderators struggle with. We want to promote information sharing, but also create guidelines that in some ways limit the same information sharing. That seems to be both the beauty and dangers of online communities. It's also interesting to see how different moderation techniques can play out among certain communities or companies. With every community differing in size, content, and values, moderation techniques need to be fluid and even to do this day, moderation is being edited to keep up with new technologies. I took a free speech class last semester that dedicated a large portion of the class delving into the moderation tactics of companies like YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. Massive companies like this are constantly under scrutiny and need a moderators to keep these websites clean and abiding by company guidelines.

To go back to my opening statement, by researching these companies, I realized how difficult and intricate moderation can be. Grimmelmann actually touches on this saying, "YouTube, for example, would need three shifts of six thousand employees each, working around the clock, to prescreen all the videos uploaded to the site. Either decentralized or automatic moderation —and quite possibly both—becomes a necessity." It's crazy to think that for a company like Youtube to succeed, it requires around the clock moderation from thousands of hired help. Willraptorsfan (talk) 16:20, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

Willraptorsfan, and that was in 2015; I'm sure the numbers have only gone up. BTW: I think this is QIC 1, please number them. -Reagle (talk) 16:46, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 3: "Broad immunity for 'any action voluntarily taken in good faith restrict access to' objectionable material. The lessons of law don't go any further in explaining what they mean by objectionable material. What I gathered more from this chapter is to suggest objectionable as crime, sex, horror, violence or cruelty depictions are without harming or, the opposites to any behavior in malicious intention. All my depiction examples are the worst of what is intended to exist within the "publish of speech" and "voluntary good faith", so all can choose between "good and evil". You would hope so. It as if online communities are a thrill of what is more disguised in person. Believing in good faith, while still existing in a space of evil intent, and malicious.

Pertaining to this, my existence within a online community will be a reflection of who I am essentially. What intent I have with my interests. Conscious or subconscious to what I choose to see. Whether it be good or bad each user desires to , we become the flock of we reap. 17:38, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

Oct 30 Fri - Governance and banning[edit]

...QIC 13: “The Wikipedia community is relatively tolerant of the ambiguities inherent to collaborating on a world encyclopedia and rather trusting of human judgment over the long run” (Reagle, 2010). This behavior seems to be the opposite to what is normal in gaming communities. As Brendan Maher (2016) states, “online gamers have a reputation for hostility…Racist, sexist and homophobic language is rampant; aggressors often threat violence or urge a player to commit suicide; from time to time.” Could you imagine that on Wikipedia? I mean all websites are not exempt from trolls or bad users, but this type of behavior is expected in a game of League but would be a very shocking comment to receive on Wikipedia. Wikipedia uses very collaborative and time-consuming methods to make sure that rule enforcement is fair and just. Some users find their methods to be “incapacitating,” but maybe that is why trolls and players who use derogatory language is much less prevalent. Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, is figuring out what makes its users act this way, and they are finding solutions to curb it. They’ve introduced “reform cards” listing all the judgments that other players made as to why a user might get banned (Maher, 2016). While this might not solve all bad player behavior, it seems to be working. I think if League and Riot are making efforts to change the pattern of their player’s behavior, other gaming platforms will follow suit. Hopefully, other games can take a page out of Wikipedia’s book and have “good faith” in their players to make good changes. - TM21NU (talk) 20:59, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 7: While Wikipedia generally runs as a culture of assuming good faith, arguments can still happen when a group of people with different personalities and are often passionate about their opinions gather in one place. Simple disagreements can turn into a full argument and may lead to edit wars that last a long time. Wikipedian Philip Sandifer notes: “I’ve been fighting with the same people over issues with reliable sourcing for well over a year, for instance, and yet those fights still continue despite, seemingly, a substantial shift in opinion away from the former hardline positions (things that included overbroad statements about blogs ‘never’ being reliable sources)." (Reagle, 2010, para. 22). Wikipedia tries to end arguments by having vague policies that allow admins or other responsible parties to close an argument that’s been going on for a while. This vagueness is a problem. It allows one party to close the argument in their favor and limit discussion (whether it is a fruitful discussion or not). Additionally, who’s to say an argument has gone on for a while or not?

I do question this with regard to new Wikipedians as well. There's a high chance my article will be deleted for sources. In a hypothetical situation, I could start a discussion to question the favoritism of Western media as a reliable source vs non-Western media. That could turn into an argument, even if both parties assume good faith, and it could end with the other party simply deleting the article thus closing the discussion/argument. This will lead to a chilling effect where newer Wikipedians are intimidated and don’t want to participate. 8isfate (talk) 23:21, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 2. Immediately after reading the Maher article on toxicity, I couldn't help but think about Reddit NBA streams. I have very limited interaction with Reddit, but I credit Reddit NBA streams with a lot of happiness in my life. Essentially this subreddit would provide links to every NBA game each night and the streams worked like a charm. It was a magical couple of years being able to watch any NBA game for free on Reddit. But to my point, these streams would have chat boxes on the side that were overrun by thousands of commenters. The chat boxes were filled with insults, crude language, memes, and were almost always total chaos. They were impossible to regulate and it was certainly a dark place. It's crazy that even an NBA stream was tainted by Internet trolls and anonymous commenters spewing hate and insults.

With regards to the Reagle article on consensus, I liked how the whole chapter while informative as it may be, had a tinge of comedy throughout. Reagle writes, "Yet, while consensus might seem simple enough in theory, it is rarely so in practice, as is evidenced by the 1,176 pages of The Consensus Building Handbook." There's quite a bit of amusement in this quote and if I might add, if consensus was such a simple concept, this whole chapter might be irrelevant. Overall though, this chapter does a great job exploring the intricacies of decision making, both on Wikipedia and externally. If I can add my own comedy, we make decisions our entire life, it's just the larger, more important decisions that require more deliberation and strategy. In fact, the more we know the harder consensus becomes. I think that's a tad ironic. I also wanted to shout out the light bulb quote in the conclusion. It's as if Wikipedians are mocking themselves for their over-complication of things. At least we can laugh at ourselves, right? Willraptorsfan (talk) 02:53, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

QIC 6: “Wikipedia’s decisions are not based on the number of people who showed up and voted a particular way on a particular day; they are based on a system of good reasons.” While reading Reagle's article, I had a bit of trouble personally understanding the importance of consensus as not purely in the terms of voting and polling, but this quote from the WP:CON page helps clear things up. Consensus doesn't have to be only what the majority thinks, because at the article also mentions, ideas of practices can be very split, with a large number of people (editors in this case) thinking one thing, and another large group thinking the opposite. When two distinct ideas have a large amount of support, it can be hard to draw consensus based on voting, but instead the focus should be what practices are most reasonable and best for the platform and their guidelines, whatever that may be.

This idea of consensus brings to mind some practices in fandom, specifically seen on Archive of Our Own. One of the main consensus issues I've come across is the debate on how to properly tag fanworks, specifically in terms of relationships. Ao3 has no firm guidelines on this, their FAQ only giving guidelines about how tags are used in a broad sense, but not the specifics. The issue that often arises is when a work should be tagged with a specific relationship (ship) i.e. how present does that relationship need to be in the fanwork to "earn" a tag? The issue with consensus in this case is that it's difficult to nail down that specific amount of presence that would warrant a tag, as different creators have varying ideas on this; some think any mention of any relationship should be tagged, while others only think a relationship should be tagged if it's given a great deal of focus in the story. Proper tagging is a very important issue for many Ao3 users since when it's done well, it makes it very easy to find a story type you're looking for. When you're searching by ship, however, and the results are full of fics that only use that ship in a background context, it can be very frustrating for users to find what fics they're looking for, and thus leading to the consensus issue. In fandom groups I'm in personally some people have come to a consensus on this type of tagging (generally, that if a ship has 10 or less sentences of "screen-time" that it should not be tagged at all in the relationship section but rather as background in the general tags) but with no formal statement from Ao3 it's hard to develop a wide-reaching consensus between all users of Ao3. Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:45, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

Nov 03 Tue - Debrief: Social breaching[edit]

...QIC 3: Right of the bat, I wanted to note that this social breaching experiment was very interesting and honestly pretty fun to conduct. I didn't have any real expectations for the experiment, but I do believe it went well, and provided worth-while results. For the experiment, I went the oversharing route by excessively texting my mom. Through the course of the day I probably sent close to 100 text messages giving her updates on what I was doing. Initially, my mom responded well to the texts, and honestly greeted me with love and caring responses. Buy through the course of the day, love turned into confusion and annoyance. It was honestly really interesting to see how well she responded to the messages initially and how her perspective shifted as I sent more texts. From a more reflective standpoint, I am curious to see how everyone else's experiments what and what results can be drawn. A lot of the other social breaching experiments seemed extremely interesting as well, and so seeing a variety of results from a variety of experiments should lead us to some proper conclusions on norm breaching. What I've thought about through this experiment is that breaking social norms is probably easier than upholding them. It's easy to break social norms, but the consequences can sometimes be a bit embarrassing. Even when the subject was my mom, who I'd say knows me pretty well, my excessive texting was a bit too much. Going forward it would be interesting to push the boundaries of social breaching. Either way, I am glad to have conducted this experiment and look forward to sharing my results. Willraptorsfan (talk) 04:37, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 06 Fri - Newcomer gateways[edit]

... QIC 8: I had heard of EVE very briefly from some of my gamer friends in the past but I personally had no idea there was a whole Reddit community that was dedicated to the game. The Dreddit site regarding entrance was much more thorough than expected and it looked like members were more likely to be included if they could prove they were already active EVE gamers with a deep EVE-related Reddit background. I personally don't have a problem with certain levels of gatekeeping when it relates to specific hobby-related niches. However, the whole application felt synonymous to a pre-job interview process.

The Wiki Ages was also something that I found to be interesting. As a newcomer to the Wiki society, I definitely would describe myself as a WikiInfant because of the lack of experience and my lack of activity when it comes to editing other pages. While I don't see a problem with labeling people under certain names to describe their experience with the site, I personally wonder if being labelled a "WikiInfant" or a "WikiChild" would lead to internal biases amongst much experienced users. The guidelines of how to deal with people under these categories seemed pretty fair. However under "WikiTeens" it seemed as though this was just a roundabout way to describe trolls. Going back to my previous statement, if WikiChild is synonymous to a misinformed but well-intentioned editor and WikiTeen is just a hormonal and stubborn editor, how can one escape that description? And who/how does one decide if someone graduates to the next level? I feel Prof. Reagle covered in class that, while there are basic rules to editing, some rules aren't always applied to every situation. Crohbar (talk) 06:31, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 8: K-pop fandoms are weirdly efficient. There is obviously a rise in the number of people who like K-pop and are active within their community. The recent jump can be attributed to BTS, but before them, there was a steady slow rise in the number of fans of K-pop. Looking to my own fandom, I see some design claims being used to recruit people (who are either established K-pop Stans or those who just dabble in East Asian music). One user with over 4K followers on Twitter has promoted tweets (and Instagram posts) of fan edits of Stray Kids. The post gets pushed out to other Kpop fans and causes intrigued to the group, thus recruiting more STAYs (the fandom name). However, she has noted that sometimes the posts get pushed out but the wrong people get a hold of it and then they barrage the tweet with racist, sexist, and homophobic commentary.

Additionally, when a comeback is released, STAYs will stream the song to get awards for the group; streaming challenges will be created, by dedicated big accounts whose purpose is to remind people to stream, to keep people motivated. Fan accounts, with many followers, will even create a streaming and moderating team that tackles different streaming platforms. Some platforms will sell tickets in order for your streams to count more; these big accounts will either ask for streamers or moderators and will most likely donate cash (and/or ask for donations) to fund the project. Before recruiting anyone, the terms are plainly laid out (e.g. 10 hours of streaming a day). This (attempts to) ensure that those who are able to comply will apply. 8isfate (talk) 16:49, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 7: While reading Kraut et al.'s discussion of dealing with newcomers, I was able to reflect on a recent community I joined through Discord, being a server for The Witcher fandom. The lines for what it means to actually join a fandom itself can be much more broad, but when it comes to a specific group in which you have to enter into, what actually makes up the community and the rules for said community become much more distinct. Kraut mentions how newcomers to a community have a much more enjoyable time entering that community if they have a succinct impression of that community before joining, something that I think applies well to this specific Discord community, but also Discord communities in general. Discord communities are often advertised in spaces that fandom already exists, such as linking the Discord in fanfic notes, or fanart blog posts. If you were just a general fan of The Witcher, you likely wouldn't know about said Discord group, but if you were actively already in the fandom, you'll likely come across it eventually. In this way, the Discord users are most likely to reach like-minded people with that fandom mentality, rather than just casual viewers.

In terms of selection, the Discord server is more "exclusive" than regular fandom, but less so than other communities. When it comes to general fandom, there isn't really a selection process, as anyone who has access to the community on some sort of platform (i.e. Twitter, Tumblr) can find others in the community and essentially just join it. There's no guarantee that the community at large will interact with said newcomer, but there's no true true selection process. Even with Discord, this community specifically, there's not a selection process so much as there is the need to join it actively, rather than passively. In general fandom, it's accessible to anyone who knows how to search for it, but with this Discord, in order to join and both post/view the community, you need to post an introduction with basic information (name you wish to go by, age, pronouns). The only real selection being done here is by age, as with this Discord specifically it is 18+ only, but the selection is still there. And while users aren't being selected, as anyone who meets the age minimum and posts an intro can enter, but by simply needing to post an intro the community already becomes that much more selective about who can join, rather than it being completely open to the general public. Mambonumber7 (talk) 17:06, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 4: I cannot remember the last time I genuinely joined an online community. As a 21-year-old, maybe my exploration days are over. I was never a big in online communities in general, and I never saw a problem with that. If I were to join a community now, it would definitely be Reddit. I have always been intrigued by Reddit, but never dipped my toes in the water. Maybe I could excel in the NBA and tennis subreddits. I guess through this class, and even with this post I am currently writing, I am technically a new Wikipedia member, more specifically, A WikiChild. The entire Seven Stages of Wikipedians article was very funny, showing the intense, non-stop life-cycle of a Wikipedian. I am in constant fear of the day I might suffer a WikiDeath.

A particular quote I like from Karaut et al is as follows, "Both theory and experience suggest that newcomers ties the community are especially fragile. As a result, the community should engage in tactics that keep potentially valuable newcomers around until they can develop more robust ties to the community or learn how the group operates." This quote reminds me of a the new girl/boy who just transferred schools and wants to fit in. Like in any movie, you always see the kids struggle to adapt to their new school, but some way or another, the school will usually begin to accept them. In general from my experiences, joining a club or participating in activity is extremely nerve-wracking. What I am realizing now is that both sides are probably nervous. The club leader or the activity leader is probably just as concerned in making your experience enjoyable and retaining the new member. From the Kraut reading and the stages of integrating newcomers, recruitment seems like the toughest stage to overcome. For some reason, I am instantly drawn to sorority recruitment and seeing how successful that is. Maybe if more communities had the sorority mindset, recruitment would be a walk in the park. Willraptorsfan (talk) 17:52, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 10 Tue - Newcomer initiation[edit]

QIC 9: The experiment regarding cognitive dissonance in group initiations immediately reminded me of frat culture. Many freshman boys come into college with an ideal image of what college life should be, based on whatever movies or rumors they've been in contact with, and often overlook the toxicity of frat culture because they idolize being in a Frat(TM). In regards to Northeastern, I had a classmate who once rushed for Pike, a very infamous frat on campus (though technically they've been kicked off), and was initially willing to overlook the terrible initiation practices because he thought the means justified the ends of being part of a brotherhood. He ended up leaving the frat because of multiple reasons: 1. the fact that most of the brothers there are very toxic and are active participants in rape culture and 2. because the Pike frat was becoming more and more infamous and had a bad name. The golden veil of being in a frat was lifted and he no longer found it worth his time to stay there.

These variations of cognitive dissonance can happen in any setting. I think I personally experienced this most when I was applying to colleges. I hated the whole process of writing countless essays, having to study for placement tests, going to interviews, etc. but I just overlooked the whole process because I thought the final result of going to college was worth it. I'm not saying that I regret going to college but I definitely know many people who decided the process was too complex and not worth it to get into a university (where they would then have to pay to attend). Crohbar (talk) 07:36, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 11: While reading this article I too immediately thought of Greek life culture and even was able to directly associate it to myself. I had never anticipated joining a sorority when coming to college. The concept never appealed to me. I had seen the movies and read the news stories about the intense "hazing" people had to go through just to hang out in groups and drink obscene amounts of alcohol on a weekly basis. No thank you. However, four and a half years later, here I am, a member of Delta Zeta. I applied this experiment to myself because I did not have to go through any type of initiation. In fact, I didn't even have to go through the rush process. At Northeastern, the most "uncomfortable" part of rushing a sorority is the actual rush process. It takes a grueling long weekend of intense interviews starting early in the morning through pretty late at night. The most painful part probably being the shoes that you have on. I didn't have to do this as I joined the sorority a month later, when there was a spot that was open after the fact.

I often wonder if maybe this has altered the way I view the organization. There are girls in DZ that are intensely loyal to the sorority. I have never felt that way. Looking back, I am wondering if I feel this casual attachment to it because I really didn't have to work for it at all. I would say most likely. Maybe if the cognitive dissonance had been more prominent I would value it more, like a lot of things in my life. I think I probably feel a greater attachment to university because I worked so hard to get here. I probably loved ballet because I went through 15 years of emotional and physical pain to be as good as I was. I value my co-op because the visa process to get here was so ridiculously taxing. Because of the negative experiences to secure a goal or to be part of a community, I certainly value the end result more TessBroll (talk) 11:51, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 8: Reading Aronson and Mill's article, I was not surprised by the results of the experiment, as I've personally experienced similar feelings to what was discussed throughout the article. As others have pointed out, these ideas are very reminiscent of frat culture, but in an online context there's a specific incident that happened to me personally years ago. It was a Facebook page for a YouTuber during the height of Facebook's prime, and the page itself basically became a chat forum. I was young at the time, likely still in middle school if I remember correctly, and at the time had never really been a genuine part of any online community, despite my desire to. I remember posting on the page, asking random but applicable questions (all related to video games being that it was a "gamer" YouTuber) in an attempt to interact with others.

When I did start interacting with others, I found them to be a bit rude, and a bit condescending, especially when I exposed myself as not being up to date on general meme culture at the time. Despite this, I still desperately wanted to talk with them in general, more so out of a desire to be part of some sort of community rather than any real desire to actually talk to them as individuals. This is very in line with the cognitive dissonance experiment, as even though I was treated poorly by the group, I still felt a strong desire to be part of the group. I felt as though those rude remarks would stop if I became more educated in those specific group dynamics, as well as internet culture as a whole. Despite all this, I wasn't in the group for very long as the owner of the Facebook page essentially shut down public comment, leading the "forum" to be terminated. While I do think I'm more aware online now and don't think I would tolerate such treatment, there's still always this underlying desire to be part of a community, and if I were presented a similar situation now I don't think I would be as desperate to join said community, but honestly there's a part of me who thinks I still would be forgiving of some forms of rude behavior, if it led to me feeling as if I were genuinely a part of a substantial, engaging community. Mambonumber7 (talk) 16:43, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC9: Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance states that “No matter how attractive a group is to a person it is rarely completely positive, i.e., usually there are some aspects of the group that the individual docs not like” (As cited in Aronson, 1959). The first thing that popped into my mind as I read this was sororities. I had always wanted to go try and join a sorority and when I first rolled up in the university in my freshman year I had gone to see some of the sororities available. I had some ideas about how it’d be both positive and negative (maybe more negative, but I kept an open mind). I had never felt more out of place. Be it the stares or the blatant disregard for my presence when I came to a table, or the erasure of other Hijabis/Arabs/Black women.

It came as a surprise when my best friend decided to join a sorority in her last semester stating “she wanted to be in a sisterhood for life”. I remember telling her about the negative experiences I’ve had and overall the negative traits I’ve heard others say as well. She just minimized those and amplified the positives of the sorority. She went through the long rituals and eventually got in a small sorority focused on STEM and it was very diverse. I was not super interested in the idea of life long sisterhood and the negatives ended up outweighing the positives for me. She, on the other hand, had more interest and excitement for the idea, even though she had negative associations with it, and she leaned more for the positives. 8isfate (talk) 16:56, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 5: The idea that having a positive outlook on a group that abuses you initially made no sense to me. If this is the case, then maybe we've been doing things wrong our whole life. However, I do think this is a very specific condition that only applies to specific people. The idea that abuse can contribute to increased liking seemed to go hand in hand with a mob mentality. A group of people getting abused would build liking way more than an individual getting abused. This is perfectly applied with the hazing process frats and sororities undergo. Hazing, as abusive and brutal as it may be, makes you work towards your initiation. From what I have heard from people who have undergone hazing, it creates an extreme bond between the group and creates a stronger connection than simply allowing the members to join. I've seen in movies and shows as well, the idea that you have to prove your worth before you join a group. An example that comes to mind is the movie Mid90's where a group of friends makes a kid perform a series of skate tricks before he can join their group. In fact, the more I think about it, the more apparent these examples become. High school students applying to college get 'abused' in the sense that they have to take a series of tests, fill out applications, and perform at high academic levels. But the work is worth the reward. But what if it isn't? What if the work or the abuse is not worth the reward? This would definitely create tension between the group and new members.

Anderson and Mills touch on this stating, "Thus, a person who has gone through a painful initiation to become a member of a group should tend to reduce his dissonance by overestimating the attractiveness of the group." To me, this makes perfect sense. It's a little sad though because people work so hard for something that they may not necessarily find rewarding, they just trick themselves into believing that is rewarding. No one wants to waste their time, so by overestimating their rewards, they justify their time and work put in. How often is someone really satisfied with the results? I feel like more often than not the pain of the work or abuse doesn't justify the rewards. Willraptorsfan (talk) 17:51, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 13 Fri - FOMO, growth hacking, and ethics[edit]

QIC 10: The FOMO feeling is something that I think is definitely correlated to social media but also depends person by person. In high school, I definitely didn't have a strong core group of friends that I felt really comfortable with so often I would feel FOMO as I was worried that I would be missing out on something and come back next Monday to hear them talking about something I wasn't a part of. As I entered college and now have a core group of friends that I'm very close to, I don't really worry about getting "left out" or missing out on anything because I'm sure that they will either let me know if something really interesting came up or I will have more opportunities to spend time with them. Also in regards to social media, I usually don't really pay too much attention to what others are doing. If I see a friend I'm missing having lunch, I'll just message them and ask them out to lunch later. Social media often creates FOMO but also, FOMO can easily be solved sometimes if you just reach out to people. Furthermore, if anything, I actually will often decline to go out on meetings and when meet-ups are cancelled, there are many times when I'm very glad to not have done anything.

In regards to growth hacks, I was reminded of my time at Wayfair where I did B2B Marketing Acquisition. As I was largely responsible for getting new customers, we would often run ads with phrases such as "over 10 million on our site!" or "Kelly Clarkson, who has joined our new campaign, SWEARS by this new interior designer program!" These were always half-truths. There had been over 10 million people on our site--just not in one day. And Kelly Clarkson was a part of our campaign, but I'm pretty sure she didn't buy anything from Wayfair and she has her own private interior designer. I was reading through the list of growth hacks and Wayfair definitely utilizes each of those tactics in their marketing plans. They also utilize a lite version of some of the things listed under the "dark patterns designed to trick you" article. For people who were signing their companies up under Wayfair Professional, the checkout section was slightly misleading. They had a free trial and they were technically allowed to "opt out after a month" but they would have to CALL the company or they would be charged the yearly fee. This caused a lot of problems so they ended up getting rid of that option and allowed people to opt out online. Crohbar (talk) 16:37, 12 November 2020 (UTC)

“The more things change, the more they stay the same: humans are social and envious creatures” (Reagle, 2015). People will always want different and supposedly better experiences than their own, and it’s easy to want them when it’s all over your social media timeline. Bianca Bosker (2014) coins and defines the term "Mystery of Missing Out" (MOMO), and I immediately thought of private stories on Instagram and Snapchat (as cited in Reagle, 2015). Last year during spring break, my friend had gone on a secret trip along with her sister and cousins to Cancun. As time passed, I noticed she had posted a few pictures on her stories which included the skyline, the palm trees, a sign, etc. She was barely in them and it was lackluster.

I started getting anxious; "Does she have a private story? She isn’t the type to not post about her trip, maybe I’m just not on the close friends' list? Did I do something for her to not trust me?” I ended up just asking if she was having fun. We found out that she made a new private story and she added no one to it by accident, so she was basically posting to herself.

I do have one quick Q regarding growth hacks for start ups: would Quibi’s intense advertising with A list celebrities count as using FOMO? 8isfate (talk) 16:59, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

8isfate don't know much about Quibi other than they are already shutting down.... -Reagle (talk) 18:21, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 9: The feeling of FOMO is definitely one that I've experienced before, and still do, but less so now that my social media habits have shifted. One thing that Reagle points out that I think is really important to the concept of FOMO is about social comparison, and how on social media we only see the "polished presentations" (2015) of someone else's life. When we're aimlessly scrolling through social media, it can be difficult to remember that, though not true for everyone, people are putting the best parts of themselves online, especially platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Or, as also pointed out, social media posts could be manipulated to make the OP look as if they're more successful, or happier with their life than they actually are. I also think that the feeling of FOMO in relation to social media has a lot to do with the platform itself. As I mentioned, platforms like Facebook and Instagram seem more conducive to creating those feelings of FOMO due to the culture each site has. People often have a lot of family connected on Facebook, and I personally would much rather my family and IRL friends see the positives or accomplishments in my life rather than the negatives. Instragram feels like even more of a breeding ground for FOMO--namely in the design of the app as it's focused on just pictures rather than text, but also with cultural aspects of the platform such as influencers.

However, platforms like Twitter seem less likely to produce feelings of FOMO, in my experience. As mentioned my social media habits have recently shifted where I barely scroll instragram anymore, which has honestly led to a genuine decrease of those feelings of FOMO. However with something like Twitter, I go on and see more personal tweets about everyday issues, rather than just the bigger, more notable accomplishments that people have. If anything, Twitter often produces the opposite feeling of FOMO, where I can go and see people venting about their lives, and not feel as alone in my own hardships, or in how my own life is going. Rather than something like instragram where it can seem like everyone is living a better life than you, Twitter can often be more grounded and more personal, with people sharing both the good and bad in their lives rather than more heavily focusing on just the good. Mambonumber7 (talk) 17:05, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 6: FOMO is a really interesting concept that I wasn't really familiar with until a couple of years ago. The unfortunate truth is that everyone has probably dealt with FOMO, myself included. The biggest example of my FOMO coming to life was when I was on co-op in NYC. This was a tough transition leaving Boston and my friends and venturing to the city alone. Immediately I felt left out of everything my friends were doing in Boston. It was especially difficult considering you tend to grow such a reliance on your friends while in college. I've never given much thought to FOMO, however, the Reagle article does a great job picking at the emotions one undergoes when they are missing out.

"Social media had transformed me into an input junkie. Without social media, I experienced the same restless anxiety I felt while detoxing from alcohol” (Melton, 2013). Reading this quote makes me a little upset at what social interaction has to come to. I believe social media as useful and as innovative as it may be, has the ability to hurt and create real-life dangers for many users. In some ways, social media is like a game, where everyone is vying for the most attention or the most likes, and when you're not 'winning', it can leave users with damaged self esteems and anxiety. What this quote is getting at, is how reliant we can be on social media as well. People are able to access social media accounts instantly and often lose track of the content they see. I've seen both myself and my friends get sucked into hours of screen time without a care in the world. For some people, social media is their full-time job which is really freaky. The sad thing is, I cannot imagine this trend getting any better. As technology improves and we all become more digital, I can only imagine social media becoming more intertwined with daily life. Willraptorsfan (talk) 17:37, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 12: I would argue that this is one of the most relevant sections of this course thus far. We have spent many classes discusing the ways that online communities provide spaces for people to come together and share information, opinions, and experiences. They have often been framed in inclusive communities, where there are rules to monitor how people interact within the community. Although these elements are very important, it is also very important to look at the other side. Online communities can be extremely exclusive as well, and the content posted on social media communities can lead to strong feelings of FOMO. "Although the management of mediated envy has a longer history than some might think, social media do add a new element: the pervasive evaluation of one’s social self." (Reagle, 2015) The social element of social media is the glue that holds the community together. I use Instagram to keep up religiously with the whereabouts of my friends. When I was on campus, I would know where to go and what to do based on what I saw on social media stories, when I am in London I feel included in the lives of my friends because I can witness parts of their lives through these platforms. The ugly side of this was something I was very familiar with when I was younger.

Your social self can be exceptionally vulnerable. It is very easy to see something you don't want to see. I would sometimes argue that people see more on social media that they don't want to see, than what they do. FOMO is not just about seeing people together that you wish you could join, FOMO is seeing people living their lives in ways you are jealous of. This can be anything from the fit supermodels, to the travel bloggers, to the Instagram foodies, to the friends that are hanging out without you. The fear of living a life that can not compete with other lives is something that is heavily perpetuated with online communities. Now more so than ever. The social comparisons are impossible not to see when your feed is constantly full of the images of peoples ideal part of their day. Those lives are not all real, and yet we all fall into the trap. TessBroll (talk) 17:51, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

TessBroll, you QIC made me think of this story and some schadenfreude around Digital Nomad Regret -Reagle (talk) 18:21, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 17 Tue - Student Nominated Topic[edit]

QIC 11: The articles regarding some of the past Wikipedia controversies were really interesting and brought back some memories. I remember in almost every level of school (and even through college) my teachers would be adamantly against the use of Wikipedia as a source when writing research papers. I always thought this was really weird because when I would open a Wikipedia article and compare it to another source, they both had the same information. At one point I asked my teacher about this and she said that Wikipedia often has a lot of third parties who go in and alter information to seem better/worse, so even if the baseline information was the same, she didn't want me to become swayed by the tone of the writing.

Through the class Wiki project, I was able to experience some of the anxieties and reliefs mentioned by Orlowitz. While I still consider myself a WikiChild, I think I've definitely gotten more comfortable with the platform. At first, especially because of some of the Wiki horrors mentioned in some of the readings, I felt very worried and scared about posting or making any changes--my sandbox was my sanctuary. I have been a follower of Yoon Ahn for many years and have a pretty extensive amount of high fashion knowledge due to my previous experiences, but I still felt I didn't have the authority to speak on the subject sometimes (perhaps a bit of imposter syndrome?). Even before moving my article to the main page, I probably reread everything 10+ times to be sure I wouldn't get a comment from an editor saying my article was trash. Over this week, I've gotten a few edits from another Wiki user and the reviews left by my peers definitely made me feel more confident about my article. Like the author generally mentioned, Wikipedia is a bit of a scary landscape that is daunting to newcomers. But all the same, the wide network of support provides these users with some solace. Crohbar (talk) 01:04, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 10: Orlowitz's article on his own personal history with Wikipedia left me reflecting on how different Wikipedia must be viewed between people of my generation or younger, and those who are even just 5 or 10 years older than me. Orlowitz mentions how in 2007, Wikipedia was still either viewed as a curiosity or a joke, rather than a legitimate source of information. When I was 9 in 2007 I was likely exposed to the internet in some capacity, but it wasn't until a few years later when I really started understanding the internet itself and how it worked. Due to this, I never experienced that period where Wiki was a joke among people. As I grew up, Wiki went from something teachers would flat out say not to use, not due to the site being a joke but rather a lack of perceived genuine legitimacy, as teachers would then say it's okay to browse Wiki to get an overall idea for your research, just don't source it. Orlowitz mentions how Wiki's legitimacy in part comes from the transparency of their site, how yes anyone can edit but also anyone can see edit history, there's open talk pages to discuss articles and sources, etc. It seems that it's not just this transparency, but more people actually taking the time to look into how Wikipedia functions, like Orlowitz, that have lead to it's further legitimacy.

I also really appreciate Orlowitz mentioning the flaws with Wiki and its community, especially with issues of inclusion and bias. Considering in general academia the issue of once legitimate sources now deemed exclusive and biased has become more and more prominent, it would only make sense that Wikipedia is bound to the same faults, considering the age from which it stemmed and also that the academic sources they're citing could be those now-outdated sources. The issue of course is not just the sources but with how these marginalized groups are treated in typically cishet-white-male dominated spaces such as academia, and by extension, Wikipedia. The internet itself as a host for Wikipedia presents both challenges and solutions for these marginalization issues; while it's often easier to express yourself freely online and find similar individuals, the anonymity of the internet and Wikipedia can also fester a breeding ground for both trolls and just bigoted people, who feel more able to express their harmful opinions while hidden behind a screen. Mambonumber7 (talk) 17:02, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 11: As I was reading Lockett's article, a realization spawned on me. People who are often overlooked, and/or people who are in hiding can find their place in this community. The anonymity of Wikipedia allows queer (but not out) individuals to be prideful in their identity without fear of being outed. You can decorate your user page to have badges of LGBTQ+, races, affiliations, etc., and build your identity freely down to the article you write/edit. Some platforms do that but it's always with a risk. I feel like with Wikipedia, for some reason, it is just a bit safer. And you're doing something important, such as adding a source by minorities to increase visibility on minority issues and increase equality, that helps generations to come.

Additionally, similar to Crohbar's experiences, my teachers in high school haughtily reprimanded any use of Wikipedia. It was deemed a mature based platform and was looked down upon as a source as Orlowitz confirms. It was only until senior year of high school when my English teacher told me to use the sources Wikipedia cites, but not to cite Wikipedia itself. I remember asking, "If the sources Wikipedia uses are reputable, then their information is reputable, making Wikipedia reputable, does it not?" She didn't really have an answer; she just said this was how things were. I'm not sure if that's ever going to change, nor am I sure if that it should change honestly. 8isfate (talk) 17:08, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 7: Reading the Orlowitz article was one of the most beautiful articles I have ever read. It sounds odd to say, but this article read more as a love story than an informative article. I've been familiar with Wikipedia most of my academic life, and had always been advised by teachers not to use it, as it was not a reliable source. This class has taught me that Wikipedia is actually very academic, and Orlowitz taught me that Wikipedia should be cherished. I've noticed that people who struggle with mental disabilities often find solace in peculiar things. For Orlowitz his path to recovery mirrored the rise of Wikipedia. My sister went through a similar progression, when she was diagnosed with autism. She had her initial struggles, but her saving grace was animals. She was able to find peace riding horses, and eventually owning an emotional support dog. I think that's the case with most people, we all need something to help us get through. Life is filled with hardships, but having that one thing to help you get by, will make all the difference.

One quote in particular that jumped out to me as is follows, "It was a winding path, but at the core was a belief in human potential, the power of collaboration, and social interactions enhanced via technology." I like this, because it online what Wikipedia is less technically, and more emotionally. From it's birth, Wikipedia has gone through a never-ending transition to what is today. A lot of people look at Wikipedia and what it has become and view it as one of the largest successes on the Internet. It's a great example of millions of people are sharing an identity and wanting to nurture this identity. I think in some ways, you can view Wikipedia as a living organism, or a shared pet among millions of users who all want the best for it. Willraptorsfan (talk) 17:37, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 20 Fri - Gratitude[edit]

... QIC 12: The quote "when do we start emphasizing people and community and not just the things they do for us?" is something that really rung true for me. Expressing gratitude to others who help us (either in the Wikipedia community or just in general) is a good way to foster community, uphold morale, and make people feel seen for their efforts. A lack of gratitude can drive someone away from a community or make them feel unappreciated--potentially leading to decreased morale. If I do something nice for someone, I usually have some expectation that they will acknowledge that I went out of my way to help them (and vice versa). However, like one of my friends used to say, no one actually *deserves* gratitude, especially when they're doing something that wasn't initially asked of them. If one of my friends cooks me a surprise meal, it's the norm for me to thank them but technically, I don't *need* to express gratitude. In online platforms, I have seen posts where people complain that others are "ungrateful" to certain users who are usually more active. While this may be true, feeling discontent over the level of gratitude is a sign that they are not working to create a better online environment but rather for extrinsic personal reasons. Under this foundation, things can quickly turn transactional and users' value might be determined by the amount of work and reciprocation they receive.

On a personal note, when someone does something for me, I do feel thankful but also I feel the need to reciprocate. I grew up learning the value that I shouldn't be a burden or ask too many favors of people, so in order to balance this, I often will do a favor in return to "balance it out." Although I don't feel like this all the time, I definitely have moments (especially when I feel like someone is doing a lot for me or if I'm relying on someone a lot), where I almost feel obligated to do something for them in return. Crohbar (talk) 15:43, 19 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 12: Gratitude has a facade of positivity, but it also has a dark side. A simple ‘thank you’ or a public acknowledgment of someone’s work could be seen as favoritism. I remember growing up and my father would have weekly family meetings. This wasn’t a meeting to have fun and enjoy our time together as a family, but rather, a time for my parents to bring up complaints and acknowledgment (This is undoubtedly one of the many things that affected my mental stability). My family is weird. Since I am the youngest of 7, I often received praise. This motivated me to keep my grades up, and if I ever got anything below a B, I’d be sure to hide it. How the gratitude affected me goes back to the segment we had on rewards and how that affects individuals (specifically kids). However, Matias (2014) shows how this simple action of praising me the most could insinuate my parents’ favoritism towards me. While it made sense, I was the youngest and needed a lot of care, my siblings’ possible, let’s call it… benign resentment was fueled by my parents’ appreciation.

I think this whole thing also affected me while I was on co-op. While I was often thanked for my work as one of the few experts on a program discretely, my fellow co-op worker was publicly acknowledged for his work on building a dashboard. I think that I learned early on that getting thanked publicly means you are the most appreciated. It’d be interesting to see if any studies were done particularly on the effects of public gratitude vs. discrete gratitude. 8isfate (talk) 17:18, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 13: "McAdams argues that this gratitude is an important part of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are: the person who loses his job and reimagines this tragedy positively as more time for family. A thankful perspective has also been linked to higher well being, mental health, and post-traumatic resilience" (Wood, Froh, Geraghty, 2010) I have never heard gratitude described in this way, and yet it may now be my favorite definition. I think that gratitude is arguably the most important part of each of our stories. It ranges from big to small, from little acts of kindness to life changing decisions. The way that we act because of gratitude, or for gratitude I think really defines the kind of people we are. When relating to technology it is interesting to think about being grateful for sites such as Instagram. There is a common argument that social media does more harm than good. I would say that especially in the world we live in, social media has really kept me connected with people I otherwise would not be in communication with. For that, I am grateful.

I also think that I am grateful for what the negative elements of online communities have taught me. I have learned how cruel people can be when hiding behind a screen, I have learned how dangerous comparisons to others can be through the lens of social media, I have learned how toxic certain online cultures can be. For this, I am thankful. I am grateful for the knowledge and understanding that has come from experiencing first hand and learning about these online communities. I am grateful for the people who continue to promote positivity on these platforms and how this translates to myself doing the same. I am grateful for the ways in which online communities have kept me connected with my life back in Boston, has kept me up to date with the world, has given me visuals of the lives of some of the most important people in my life who I can not physically be with. We can spend so much time dissecting the ways that online communities can be toxic, but to find gratitude in both the positive and negative elements is what has been the most rewarding for me. TessBroll (talk) 18:04, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

QIC 8: Gratitude to me seems way more intense than sincerity or kindness. I think gratitude as well, is something that I would have never thought about without reading the articles this week. I understand online communities typically require kind interactions, but gratitude seems a lot more genuine and requires empathy, which is hard to build on an online basis. Either way, as I was reading the Matias article, I saw his discretion of the harmful sides of gratitude. To me this was odd, but like all things too much of something or too little of something is detrimental. Everything in moderation. This particular quote stood out to me, "Gratitude or its absence can influence relationships in harmful ways by encouraging paternalism, supporting favoritism, or papering over structural injustices." The idea that gratitude can lead to favoritism was most obvious to me, as I had seen this occur in many classrooms. When one student receives more praise than others, the classroom dynamic shifts, and the other students are inherently discouraged to participate. I had to look up what paternalism means, and from what I found, it looks as if this is the opposite of gratitude and more along the lines of selfishness. What was most interesting to me, was the last segment which talks about gratitude as a structural phenomenon. The example specifically was really interesting as it showed that tipping in restaurants is essentially just a way of qualifying someone's gratitude into a dollar amount. Tipping was nothing new to me and through my life, I had grown customary to the tipping process, but on a deeper discretion, it is an odd process. It also makes me think, what other societal structures revolve around gratitude? Willraptorsfan (talk) 18:21, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Nov 24 Tue - RTFM[edit]


Nov 27 Fri - NO CLASS[edit]

Dec 01 Tue - K-Pop Fans[edit]


Dec 04 Tue - Debrief: Wikipedia[edit]


Dec 08 Fri - Infocide[edit]