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Modeling the boundaries of social norms online

Sara De Candia

Modeling the boundaries of social norms online.

Rel. Luca Dall'Asta, Francesco Bonchi. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Physics Of Complex Systems (Fisica Dei Sistemi Complessi), 2021

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The topic of moral judgment and social norms has been widely addressed to understand human behaviour. Since nowadays the majority of interpersonal interactions happen on online platforms, researchers need to examine the new social spaces constituted by social platforms. Social media can be in fact precious data sources: together with a sociological interpretation of the results, they can provide new insights into the understanding of the perception of social norms. This thesis investigates social norms in the context of Reddit: a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. The Reddit community of interest for the present study is r/AITA, a community dedicated to asking and providing feedbacks about social behaviour. Given this rich dataset, we aim to investigate the determinants of social norms as expressed online, and in particular to explore their biases and boundaries when controversial subjects are addressed. What has been said so far brings us to two main research questions: what are the factors that push the collective judgement in one direction or the other? And, on the flip side, is it possible to model the response of a single member of the community given their history on Reddit? To this aim, we retrieved the data of interest from the social network and extracted the age and the gender of the poster through a regular expression and the tags given in the several comments. Then, the analysis has been performed using statistical tests and prediction algorithms. Our results show that the online perception of social norms is influenced by the age and the gender of the poster, showing a harsher judgement towards male users and people of 21-23 and 23-70. Furthermore, the judgment is also influenced by the topic of the submission and by the previous history of the user, confirming the role played by cultural and social background in the outlining of social norms and moral judging.

Relators: Luca Dall'Asta, Francesco Bonchi
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 70
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Physics Of Complex Systems (Fisica Dei Sistemi Complessi)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-44 - MATHEMATICAL MODELLING FOR ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: ISI Foundation
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/20436
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