Research on perceptual dehumanization has shown that we’re more cruel towards people in digital environments. Increasing empathetic responses like this might help re-humanize our experience of social media.
For people who genuinely want to connect with other audiences, this might give them pause and motivate them to reword their posts before publishing. Though this may not deter the majority of people who post inflammatory content, some might reconsider their language. This can be framed with basic information about how to make it more accessible to other audiences.
We do angry things that we often later regret. Having a moment to pause, review, and undo content flagged as hurtful might reduce likelihood of sharing it in our worst moments.
Might we be more civil in 1-on-1 conversation? If everything isn’t in front of a crowd might we mitigate some of the performative nature of big dust-ups? Giving a private reply — taking it to direct message by default — might encourage people to open sidebars to have conversations with less external encouragement.
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