With the creation of the internet, people can hide as “anonymous” and say anything they choose because they’re alone in reality. In this essay I will focus on exploring why people behave the way they do online, and present some positive recommendation changes. My main argument is that good people can behave poorly in online situations, but civil behavior can be encouraged by changes to online environment designs.
It’s proven that bad experiences are focused on more than good experiences. Online interaction can relate to this in two ways. First, the person reading the online comment may think it’s much worse than it really is. Second, humans are more prone to pay attention to the negative versus the positive input. A recent study conducted by Will Felps showed that one individual can drastically impact the rest of a group. The study applied to real life, face to face meetings but it can also be applied to the online community. Historical beliefs that groups have more power than individuals was contradicted based on the evidence discovered by Felps. The groups with one negative person did thirty to forty percent worse than groups without that person. Felps also found that our behavior is contagious and the behavior by the negative person was mirrored. A possible solution to this one negative person issue could be that the website would have someone supervise the first few hours of comments to set the right tone for everyone else reading the material.
One unique trait given to the online community is that anyone can leave a comment regardless of content and not be seen by anyone who reads it. A problem with communicating online is that no one is seen however studies have shown that having the feeling of being watched can improve cooperation. A common example can be given from psychological experiments. Scientists take two groups and give them a scenario. The scenario could be a candy box for employees to grab whatever they like and put money into a box to pay for it. No one has to put money in the box but it’s assumed that it will be done. One group is presented with the box with a camera watching it and the other is not monitored at all. The group who has the camera watching the box are almost three times more likely to pay for the candy.
The layout of the online...