Ocio-demographic characteristics. Exploring whether aggressive protesters differ from non-aggressive protesters on

Ocio-demographic characteristics. Exploring whether aggressive protesters differ from non-aggressive protesters on particular dimensions would be of interest here. In regard to aggressors’ motivations, another fundamental problematic remains: To what proportion does firestorm-like outrage reflect genuine public opinion? And to what extent does it represent auto-generated propaganda of political (ro-)bots or astroturfers, i.e., fake commenters paid by central coordination units such as political parties? Particularly if public actors increasingly give in to social pressures triggered by firestorms, distinguishing between P144 dose democratic expression of a legitimate peer-group and a swarm of bots or astroturfers becomes increasingly difficult. Although we perceive the occurrence of bots within our petition data as low (because the lists of signatures finally given to the addressee of the petition had to include all names and home addresses of signers), this is a challenge that public actors and researchers are likewise confronted with. While we introduced social norm theory to understand online aggression in social media, many open questions remain. A largely unexplored area is the effectiveness, or offline impact, of digital social norm enforcement. Are there digital accusations that are systematically often ill founded, or mostly justified? Also, beyond knowing that aggressive norm enforcers prefer nonanonymity, how often and under what circumstances do non-anonymous aggressive sanctions indeed help to mobilize other actors and to enforce social norms? Beyond this individual level of analysis, we also recommend focusing on the collective level. A first point is to study, in more detail, the role of selective incentives for (latent) group formation and aggressive acts in social media. Can alternative methods and applications confirm that latent groups aggress more often and mostly non-anonymously? Finally, we did not study the underlying dynamicsPLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0155923 June 17,20 /Digital Norm Enforcement in Online FirestormsFig 9. Online aggression dependent on scandal and anonymity (fixed-effects). Predictions of Table 2, Model 2. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155923.gof online firestorms. Under which circumstances, for example by enforcing which kind of norm and by which framing of sanctions, can online aggressors in social media mobilize other followers within hours? To conclude, within the increasing penetration of digital media into public life, online aggression has become an effective tool for punishing norm violations and securing public goods. Academia and politics cannot ignore the social-political motivation of an aggressor when investigating online aggression in social media. Also, in the debate on how to legally handle online aggression, underlying social-political RG7666MedChemExpress RG7666 motivations must be taken into account in the tightrope walk between securing free expression of opinion and preventing hate speech. And finally, from an ethical perspective, altruistic punishments of norm violations to secure public goods are honorable. However, the question arises whether the aggressive means of punishments as obtained in firestorms are justified.Supporting InformationS1 Table. Descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations. (DOCX)Author ContributionsConceived and designed the experiments: KR LS BF. Performed the experiments: KR LS. Analyzed the data: KR LS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: KR LS. Wrote the paper: KR L.Ocio-demographic characteristics. Exploring whether aggressive protesters differ from non-aggressive protesters on particular dimensions would be of interest here. In regard to aggressors’ motivations, another fundamental problematic remains: To what proportion does firestorm-like outrage reflect genuine public opinion? And to what extent does it represent auto-generated propaganda of political (ro-)bots or astroturfers, i.e., fake commenters paid by central coordination units such as political parties? Particularly if public actors increasingly give in to social pressures triggered by firestorms, distinguishing between democratic expression of a legitimate peer-group and a swarm of bots or astroturfers becomes increasingly difficult. Although we perceive the occurrence of bots within our petition data as low (because the lists of signatures finally given to the addressee of the petition had to include all names and home addresses of signers), this is a challenge that public actors and researchers are likewise confronted with. While we introduced social norm theory to understand online aggression in social media, many open questions remain. A largely unexplored area is the effectiveness, or offline impact, of digital social norm enforcement. Are there digital accusations that are systematically often ill founded, or mostly justified? Also, beyond knowing that aggressive norm enforcers prefer nonanonymity, how often and under what circumstances do non-anonymous aggressive sanctions indeed help to mobilize other actors and to enforce social norms? Beyond this individual level of analysis, we also recommend focusing on the collective level. A first point is to study, in more detail, the role of selective incentives for (latent) group formation and aggressive acts in social media. Can alternative methods and applications confirm that latent groups aggress more often and mostly non-anonymously? Finally, we did not study the underlying dynamicsPLOS ONE | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0155923 June 17,20 /Digital Norm Enforcement in Online FirestormsFig 9. Online aggression dependent on scandal and anonymity (fixed-effects). Predictions of Table 2, Model 2. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155923.gof online firestorms. Under which circumstances, for example by enforcing which kind of norm and by which framing of sanctions, can online aggressors in social media mobilize other followers within hours? To conclude, within the increasing penetration of digital media into public life, online aggression has become an effective tool for punishing norm violations and securing public goods. Academia and politics cannot ignore the social-political motivation of an aggressor when investigating online aggression in social media. Also, in the debate on how to legally handle online aggression, underlying social-political motivations must be taken into account in the tightrope walk between securing free expression of opinion and preventing hate speech. And finally, from an ethical perspective, altruistic punishments of norm violations to secure public goods are honorable. However, the question arises whether the aggressive means of punishments as obtained in firestorms are justified.Supporting InformationS1 Table. Descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations. (DOCX)Author ContributionsConceived and designed the experiments: KR LS BF. Performed the experiments: KR LS. Analyzed the data: KR LS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: KR LS. Wrote the paper: KR L.

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