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Toxicity in Open-Source Community Varies From Other Internet Forums

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"Toxicity is different in open-source communities," CMU's Courtney Miller said. "It is more contextual, entitled, subtle, and passive-aggressive."

Credit: Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon (CMU) and Wesleyan universities conducted an analysis of toxicity on open-source community platforms.

The researchers used a toxicity and politeness detector to scan about 28 million posts on GitHub entered between March and May 2020, and searched them for the phrase "code of conduct" while also watching for locked or deleted issues.

They compiled a dataset of 100 toxic posts, and used this information to assess the nature of the toxicity.

CMU's Courtney Miller said toxicity on open-source platforms "is more contextual, entitled, subtle, and passive-aggressive" than on other online forums.

Responses to toxicity in open-source communities often involved project developers going out of their way to accommodate users or resolve issues raised in the toxic content, which regularly engendered frustration.

From Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science
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