Experiences with Civility and the Role of a Social Contract in Virtual Communities: A Communitas Model

AAAI Conferences 

Group policy-making for virtual communities is curiously problematic when it comes to civility standards--creating a social contract. Perhaps the concept of a social contract for the purpose of establishing norms of civil behavior is not on the minds of community policy makers. Perhaps what is on their minds is the establishment of well-defined enforceable rules; or perhaps they simply presume an adequate level of user sophistication that does not yet exist. Our analysis and model suggests the need for both rules and a suitable social contract to establish suitable norms of civil behavior.