Women TEDx speakers more vulnerable to polarised comments: Study

Women TEDx speakers more vulnerable to polarised comments: Study

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Women TEDx speakers more vulnerable to polarised comments: Study
New York, June 27 (IANS) The online responses to female presenters in TED Talks videos -- a global initiative about ideas worth spreading -- were more polarised than responses to male presenters, a study has found, revealing how online participation experiences may vary by gender.
It may be because of historical gender norms, since the women in TEDx videos are often accomplished in fields viewed as traditionally male professions like STEM, the researchers argued.
"When you have a platform where you are a powerful woman in a field that has historically been unwelcome to you, the community responds in unwelcome ways," said Royce Kimmons, Professor at the Brigham Young University in the US.
The findings showed that though most comments on TEDx and TED-Ed videos are neutral, women receive more of both positive and negative comments than men, while, TED-Ed's animated videos, which do not have a female or male focal point, get mostly neutral responses.
"It was surprising that there was so much more polarity when you could see physical appearance," Kimmons added.
However, regardless of presenter gender or presentation format, a positive comment in a video's thread encouraged additional positive commentary and negative comments often led to additional negative commentary.
That in turn raised the question of internet comment moderation, the researchers noted, in the paper detailed in the journal PlOS ONE.
Although Kimmons acknowledged the struggle between allowing freedom of speech while minimising the damage from internet trolls, he advised against taking every negative comment off of a thread saying that deleting negativity could crush what has the potential to become a good conversation.
He argued that individual media literacy would be the best moderation.
"As a society we need to develop an awareness of the media we are using and how these media are influencing our personal behaviours," Kimmons said.
He stated that the study is an important step in understanding issues of civility and harassment in online discourse, but noted that "there is a lot more work that needs to be done to help us better understand people's experiences online and help us identify instances and patterns of harassment, abuse and so forth."
--IANS
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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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