Polarizing conversations with strangers in social media

Hey, you! Yes, you.

How do you feel about climate change? Would you say its more or less important than issues of immigration? What about universal basic income? Or the legalization of narcotics use? What about the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine passports?

If you’re someone who frequently gets into online conflicts with strangers online, we want to hear from you.

My students and I at the C3 Lab, Dept of Computer Science (University of Calgary) with collaborators at NTT Communication Science Labs (Japan) are interested in how social media design can better facilitate conversations about polarizing topics between strangers with diverse perspectives.

Interested? Fill out the Recruitment Questionnaire here (~5 min):


Eligible participants must currently reside in Canada, be fluent in English, and be at least 18 years of age. Selected participants will be asked to participate in a short study task, and may be invited to a one-on-one interview with a researcher. Participants will be entered into a draw for one of ten $50 gift cards.

The UCalgary Research Ethics Board has approved this study (REB21-0847).

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

PS. I’ll be speaking about topics such as these (how social media can foster meaningful connection, the design of human-centered humane technologies) with Prof. Sheri Madigan (Dep.t of Psychology, mental health, child development) on Monday Oct 4, 2021 at 6pm MST. This talk is hosted by the Mathison Center. Registration is free and open to the public. 🙂

PPS. (Feb 2023 update). This work was accepted to ACM CSCW – a top tier international journal on social computing. The paper is entitled Slowing it Down: Towards Facilitating Interpersonal Mindfulness in Online Polarizing Conversations over Social Media, led by the amazing Teale Masrani.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.