Being nice on the internet: Designing for the coexistence of diverse opinions online
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This thesis contributes to a better understanding of social media designs for more civil conversations online. I first demonstrated that people disengage from social media interactions when they encounter uncivil behavior from friends. To find alternative designs for social media that are more civil, I evaluated novel social interaction techniques. To do this, I designed a six-phase framework for prototyping social interactions called piggyback prototyping; and an algorithmic probe study methodology to include participants in the development of social curation algorithms. I built a piggyback prototype that modifies the civility on Facebook by highlighting positive posts in green and hiding impolite posts, and I deployed it as an algorithmic probe with 20 participants. I uncovered ways to improve the algorithm, and I found that participants responded most favorably to having civil posts highlighted. These findings open avenues for future research in designing pro-social platforms.