Building a Better Chat Room


Chat rooms can be highly toxic. They are the frequent haunt of trolls and spammers. This is especially true for chat rooms connected to live video streams. But chat rooms are also one of the only places where viewers can discuss what they are seeing in real time with a group of people who are all seeing the same thing. Communities form around chat rooms, and they sometimes develop their own unique culture and norms of behavior. This paper explores the problems and potential of chat. I will argue that chat is necessary but problematic, and will articulate a model of citizenship and community that could be built with the help of chat. I will survey existing chat moderation features on several platforms to analyze some of the technical solutions that are used today, and consider the importance of these features in positively influencing the tone and tenor of chat rooms. Finally, I will propose new features that might encourage vibrant, participatory, and civil communities around chat rooms.

Full Paper Here.