an social media still be fixed?


social research



Social Wedia | I dedicated my master thesis to finding a positive computing solution for improvement of public discussion culture in social media networks. The results indicate promising tendencies towards the adaptation of empathy promoting conversation techniques.

Deviolating social networks through it's users.

The goal is to modify the way we interact in social media threads. Aiming at minimizing prejudices and conflict promoting comments. This intervention is based upon detailed research in the fields of media richness and communication strategies. Nonviolent communication is the technique that should do the trick.

"With this technology it will be impossible for you to hear criticism, harsh remarks, insults."

"... all you can hear is the only thing human beings are ever saying - please and thank you." states Marshall B. Rosenberg about his conversation technique nonviolent communication. It suggests expressing personal arguments based upon 1) observations, 2) feelings, 3) needs and 4) requests. This has shown to help with an emphatic and reflective course of conversation. With this project a moderative add-on promoting the use of this technique be implemented into the facebook comment section.

Prototype testing in two iterative rounds proved success.

The effectiveness of the NVC technique in a social media context has been confirmed by putting the concept to test within the potential target audience in form of a digital minimal viable prototype (MVPr). Participants were asked to respond to provocative posts in realistic comment column scenarios. First in a comparison round and then using the social media prototype. Results indicated a shift towards more emphatic and deescalating behaviour.

Getting hooked on empathic interactions in four steps.

Nonviolent communication was implemented in this project using behavioural design methods such as nudging (Thaler & Sunstein) and the hook-model (Nir Eyal).

1. Trigger

The vibrant icons referring to the four stages in combination with a question pose an external trigger that provokes and simplifies the interaction.

2. Action

By answering the four questions users get a valuable insight on their own psyche and needs.

3. Reward

Tokens can be earned for successfully completing a nonviolent argument. Collecting tokens pays in on your personal ranking, which can unlock you goodies like profilepicture filters or wallpapers.

4. Investment

Apart from positive and constructive community feedback to nonviolent arguments this social manner of communicating leads to positive psychological effects in users.