Can We Have Healthy Conversations Online?

Not all online spaces are terrible. Join Shira Ovide, a Times technology writer, for a virtual event on Nov. 18 exploring the forces behind internet communities that work.,

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Technology writer Shira Ovide talks with the people trying to make online spaces better for all of us.

You probably know the worst parts best: The trolling, the misinformation, the spats that quickly become political and escalate out of control. But conversations that happen on the internet can also be civil and informative.

There’s the Facebook group Vaccine Talk, which uses a mix of rules and active moderation to create a culture of fact-based information sharing. There are forums on Reddit that take on heated topics while steering clear of insults. And Twitter recently launched a new product to support healthy conversations called “Communities.”

What can we learn from the spaces where fruitful conversations happen? What are these groups doing that’s working so well?

In this Times virtual event, Shira Ovide, who writes the subscriber-only newsletter On Tech, will explore the forces behind the internet’s healthiest communities and look for lessons on what makes them work. She’ll talk to a top executive at one of the major community platforms, as well as a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race about how they manage conversations in their often unruly communities.

Ahead of the event, we will invite you to join our own experiment in healthy group conversation.

This discussion is part of The Times’s virtual event series that’s just for subscribers.

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