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Social Psychology and Society

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2221-1527

ISSN (online): 2311-7052

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2010

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Designing the rules of the online discussion: the role of “likes” 201

Radina N.K.
Doctor of Political Science, PhD in Psychology, professor at the Department of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
e-mail: rasv@yandex.ru

Abstract
The article is dedicated to a study in the subject field of virtual digital communication. The intentional constituent of online interaction marked by “likes” (“thumbs up”), which represent non-verbal signs of approval typical of digital communication) was examined on the material of online discussions on politics and international relations. The research in question has been based on the materials of 2015: 302 online discussions comprising 27901 comments on infovenues such as InoSMI.ru, Gazeta.ru, Polit. Ru. The intentional analysis has been performed with the use of quantitative intent-analysis method of conflict political discourse by T.N. Ushakova and N.D. Pavlova modified by N.K. Radina. Consequently, the count of “likes” (“thumbs up”) given by participants of the discussion for a specific comment, which means that they were given for an intention, followed. There has been made a supposition that the “likes” (“thumbs up”) are intertwined with the communicative interactions in the online discussion which are typical (most frequent) in online cooperation. As a result, the study revealed that the “likes” (“thumbs up”) fortify the asymmetrical relations between the author of the comment and the Others (the author of the article, other authors of comments as well as third party actors). The participants of the discussion rival with the authors of the comments and the authors of the articles while seeking recognition with the “third party actors”. The “likes” (“thumbs up”) prove to be a tool for fortification of intentional scenarios of online communication as well as legitimization of constructed rules of digital interaction. Hence, the hypothesis has been confirmed. It has been supposed that virtual digital communication implies intermittent construction of rules for every digital community for a unique situation of interaction whereas the “likes” (“thumbs up”) serve as an instrument for securing constructed norms.

Keywords: virtual digital communication, rules of digital interaction, online discussion, “likes”

Column: Empirical Research

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2019100405

For Reference

Funding

The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research within the framework of the scientific project № 16-06-00184-A.

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