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Supporting Conflict Resolution Skills in Social Media and Online Forums

To learn more about Cyberweek and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) activities, visit ADRHub.com.

Leah Wing

Tom Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media and the Internet are transforming society, providing new benefits but also new hazards. Some have suggested that online communication and collaboration may lead to decreased civility, mutual understanding, and communicative clarity, as compared with face-to-face methods. Such negative trends can occur, but are they inevitable? We have been investigating whether online communication tools can actually support more skillful communication and deeper mutual understanding, especially in situations involving conflict, controversial topics, or differences in goals and perspectives.

What if online interactions could be designed to support more empathy, self-reflection, perspective taking, civility, and curiosity? Our preliminary research on new tools which support these abilities have found that they do foster better communication and conflict resolution skills in people engaged in online interactions. In this discussion we will explore these issues, giving some examples, and speak about tools for supporting positive conflict resolution skill use for social media and online communication.

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