Study Results: How well do harassment prevention interventions transfer between communities?

April 21, 2023 ☼ social-media

Source: Citizens and Tech (Link)

Can clear institutional policies against harassment reduce its prevalence in a community? And what side effect (if any) do they have on freedom of expression?

In 2016 as a PhD student, Nathan worked with moderators of the r/science community on Reddit to test this question. In an experiment with 2,190 discussions, he found that the messages increased newcomer rule compliance by over 8 percentage points and increased newcomer participation by 70% on average. In addition to extending psychologists’ understandings of social norms, the study also helped answer whether policies against harassment reduce or increase participation. In this case, visible policies against harassment increased rather than reduced online speech.