Democracy online: civility, politeness, and the democratic potential of online political discussion groups

  title={Democracy online: civility, politeness, and the democratic potential of online political discussion groups},
  author={Zizi Papacharissi},
  journal={New Media \& Society},
  pages={259 - 283}
The proponents of cyberspace promise that online discourse will increase political participation and pave the road for a democratic utopia. This article explores the potential for civil discourse in cyberspace by examining the level of civility in 287 discussion threads in political newsgroups. While scholars often use civility and politeness interchangeably, this study argues that this conflation ignores the democratic merit of robust and heated discussion. Therefore, civility was defined in a… 

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