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Online environments and the quality of deliberation: exploring criteria to measuring online deliberation

Open Panel

Abstract

Over the past decades, a considerable corpus of empirical research has emerged to evaluate the importance of citizen’s participation in online environments. Such analysis has followed two paths: the deliberative turn in democracy theory and the rise of new technologies of communication and information. This paper reflects critically on the development of deliberation in online environments and specially explores the most important criteria to measuring online deliberation. Relying on existing coding schemes used to measure the deliberative potential of conversations in internet discussion groups, we propose a framework to measure online deliberation in readers'' comments section to online news. We argue that a lack of defined criteria has often leaded to problems on the possibilities of measuring online deliberation. In this article we want to show the possibilities of a holistic model that combines the different criteria. This work is an attempt at a more systematic review of conditions to measuring online deliberation.