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The debate in social networks can be exhausting, especially when discussions become heated. But are the platforms and their algorithms responsible for the toxic environment that often arises in online interactions? A recent study published in Nature offers some insight into this issue, analyzing various behaviors to better understand where online toxicity originates.

The study analyzed over 500 million threads, messages, and conversations in English on eight platforms over 34 years, including Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube. Researchers found that toxicity is not a result of the networks themselves but rather stems from human behavior.

Walter Quattrociocchi, a professor at Sapienza University in Rome and co-author of the study, suggests that despite changes in networks and social norms over time, certain toxic behaviors persist in online discussions. This implies that toxicity is a natural outcome of online interactions. However, surprisingly, the study also revealed that toxicity does not necessarily deter participation on the platforms. User behavior in toxic and non-toxic conversations showed nearly identical patterns in terms of engagement.

While the study highlights that human behavior contributes to online toxicity, it does not mean that all online interactions are doomed to be toxic. Efforts to mitigate toxicity can still be effective in creating a more positive online environment. The findings could help social platforms moderate content to minimize toxic behavior and promote healthier discussions online.

In conclusion, while social media has made it easier for people to connect with one another than ever before

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