Previous studies have investigated intergroup uncivil discussions in anonymous computer-mediated communication, but there is a scarcity of research on supportive expressions in discussions on out-groups by in-group members. In this research, we conducted two studies to investigate uncivil and supportive expressions in discussions on an out-group among in-group members on an anonymous discussion forum. Study 1 analysed a massive dataset of posts and responses collected from HKGolden, the most popular local discussion forum during the study period (i.e., 2013–2018). In Study 2, an experiment was conducted to test the effects of initial supportive expressions in discussions on the out-group Mainland Chinese on subsequent uncivil and supportive expressions. The findings suggested use of supportive expressions on the out-group in the initiation of interactions among in-group members decreased the use of subsequent uncivil responses and increased the number of subsequent supportive responses about the out-group. This research represents one of few attempts to understand the alleviation of uncivil expressions and facilitation of deliberative discussions in computer-mediated communication.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Anonymous forum
- Computer-mediated communication
- Supportive expressions