New Ways of Deliberating Online: An Empirical Comparison of Network and Threaded Interfaces for Online Discussion

  • Anna De Liddo
  • Simon Buckingham Shum
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8654)


One of the Web’s most phenomenal impacts has been its capacity to connect and harness the ideas of many people seeking to tackle a problem. Social media appear to have played specific and significant roles in helping communities form and mobilize, even to the level of political uprisings. Nevertheless the online dialogue spaces we see on the Web today are often re-purposed social networks that offer no insight into the logical structure of the ideas, such as the coherence or evidential basis of an argument. This hampers both quality of citizen participation and effective assessment of the public debate. We report on an exploratory study in which we observed users interaction with a new tool for online deliberation and compared network and threaded visualizations of arguments. Results of the study suggest that network visualization of arguments can effectively improve online debate by facilitating higher-level inferences and making the debate more engaging and fun.


Argumentation Computer Supported Argument Visualisation (CSAV) Online Deliberation Collective Intelligence 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna De Liddo
    • 1
  • Simon Buckingham Shum
    • 1
  1. 1.Knowledge Media InstituteThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUnited Kingdom

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