In Discourse & Society, experts at the University of California, Santa Cruz established specific elements of tone and style of online speech purportedly related to hyperpartisan echo chambers.
The research team analyzed the style of communication in internet forums, including more than 47,000 comments in hyperpartisan spaces such as Reddit.
Eight political subreddits were examined, only half of which were hyperpartisan while the rest were not.
“We analyzed a corpus of hyperpartisan and non-hyperpartisan writing produced on internet forums and found that markers of spontaneous communication are strongly predictive of hyperpartisan speech, regardless of whether that speech is left- or right-leaning,” according to the study’s authors.
“The markers of spontaneous communication included swear words, discourse markers, local pronouns like I and you, and exclamation marks.”
What researchers deduced from their findings: “This suggests that speakers in hyperpartisan online communities exploit linguistic resources, even those without overtly political or persuasive content, to engage readers through appeal to closeness and familiarity.”