The Role of New York Times Picks in Comment Quality and Engagement

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Wang, Yixue
Diakopoulos, Nicholas
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2924
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Abstract
While various methods can be used to maintain online discussion quality, one aspect that is underexplored is the role of highlights from professional moderators. In this work, we look at the impact of New York Times (NYT) Picks. We present an analysis of more than 13 million NYT comments, examining the quality and frequency of commenting on the site in response to NYT Picks. The findings offer evidence that NYT Picks are associated with an increase in the quality of first-time receivers’ next approved comment, as well as the commenting frequency during commenters’ early tenure on the site. The quality boost associated with receiving a Pick attenuates after subsequent picks and diminishes over time as the user continues commenting, but is still higher than commenters who don’t receive Picks. The findings also indicate that exposure to Pick badges is positively correlated with subsequent higher quality approved comments, albeit to a lesser extent.
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Mediated Conversation, comment quality, computational communication, online civility, online communities
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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