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Anatomy of a flame: conflict and community building on the Internet

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6 Author(s)
Franco, V. ; Dept. of Comm., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY ; Piirto, R. ; Hu, H.-Y. ; Lewenstein, B.V.
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Although some social theorists have predicted that widespread computer-mediated communication produce utopian communities in cyberspace, the presence of “flames” and other activities often perceived as hostile to communal standards raises questions about whether and how such communities might come to exist. We examine the anatomy and progress of a particular “flame” that occurred in a listserv (unmoderated mailing list group) devoted specifically to the development of online communities (“Free-nets”). Contrary to existing literature that treats “flames” as undesirable, we suggest that a “flame” can help communities identify common values

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Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )