Understanding Toxicity in Open Source Discussions #OpenSource #OSS « Adafruit Industries - Makers, Hackers, Artists, Designers and Engineers!

Understanding Toxicity in Open Source Discussions #OpenSource #OSS « Adafruit Industries – Makers, Hackers, Artists, Designers and Engineers!

A research paper published last May by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Wesleyan University described the toxicity that can occur during Internet discussions about open source software projects.

Online toxicity is ubiquitous online and its negative impact on people has been well documented. However, toxicity manifests differently on different platforms and toxicity in open source communities, although frequently discussed, is not well understood.

We are taking the first step in understanding the toxicological properties of open source to better inform future work on designing effective intervention and detection methods. To this end, we sponsored A sample of 100 discussions about the toxic GitHub issue Combining multiple search and sampling strategies. We then analyze the sample qualitatively to understand the toxicological characteristics of open source.

we find that The forms of toxicity prevalent in open sources differ from those observed on other platforms such as Reddit or Wikipedia. In our sample, some of the most prevalent forms of toxicity are validated, demanding, and arrogant comments from project users as well as insults arising from technical controversies.

Additionally, not all toxicity was written by people outside the project; Project members were also common authors of toxicity. We also discuss the implications of our findings. Among others, we hope that our results will be useful for future detection work.

Could you Read the full paper here (PDF).

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