The Internet presents a unique opportunity for people to engage in political discourse. Online forums, blogs, news organizations’ comment sections, and social networking sites are just a few of the places that the American public can participate in discussion about public affairs. Yet much online conversation falls short of the deliberative ideals of civil, well-reasoned conversations among respected discussants.
For this project, we have partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to research how to improve online discourse. We began by reviewing academic research on creating civil online spaces. In the coming months, we will conduct a series of focus groups to understand people’s thoughts about discussing politics online.