May 20, 2024 12:48 am
Humanity corrupts networks, which are not inherently toxic.

The debate on social media can be exhausting, especially when discussions become heated. However, it is not the platforms or their algorithms that are responsible for creating a toxic environment in online interactions. A recent study published in Nature sought to understand where toxicity originates by analyzing over 500 million threads, messages and conversations on eight platforms, including Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube.

The researchers found that toxicity stems from human behavior rather than the networks themselves. Despite changes in social norms and networks over time, certain toxic behaviors persist in online discussions. Surprisingly, the study revealed that toxicity does not necessarily deter participation on the platforms. User engagement patterns showed nearly identical patterns in toxic and non-toxic conversations.

While human behavior contributes to online toxicity, efforts to mitigate it can still be effective in creating a more positive online environment. Social platforms can moderate content to minimize toxic behavior and promote healthier discussions online.

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