Investigating the Dynamics of Social Norm Emergence within Online Communities

by   Shangde Gao, et al.

Although the effects of the social norm on mitigating misinformation are identified, scant knowledge exists about the patterns of social norm emergence, such as the patterns and variations of social tipping in online communities with diverse characteristics. Accordingly, this study investigates the features of social tipping in online communities and examines the correlations between the tipping features and characteristics of online communities. Taking the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination as the case topic, we first track the patterns of tipping features in 100 online communities, which are detected using Louvain Algorithm from the aggregated communication network on Twitter between May 2020 and April 2021. Then, we use multi-variant linear regression to explore the correlations between tipping features and community characteristics. We find that social tipping in online communities can sustain for two to four months and lead to a 50 online communities. The regression indicates that the duration of social tipping is positively related to the community populations and original acceptance of social norms, while the correlation between the tipping duration and the degrees among community members is negative. Additionally, the network modularity and original acceptance of social norms have negative relationships with the extent of social tipping, while the degree and betweenness centrality can have significant positive relationships with the extent of tipping. Our findings shed light on more precise normative interventions on misinformation in digital environments as it offers preliminary evidence about the timing and mechanism of social norm emergence.


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