Beyond Exit and Affect in Online Communities

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* Article: Effective Voice: Beyond Exit and Affect in Online Communities. By Seth Frey, Nathan Schneider. Cornell University, September 2021



"Online communities provide ample opportunities for user self-expression but generally lack the means for average users to exercise direct control over community policies. This paper sets out to identify a set of strategies and techniques through which the voices of participants might be better heard through defined mechanisms for institutional governance. Drawing on Albert O. Hirschman's distinction between "exit" and "voice" in institutional life, it introduces a further distinction between two kinds of participation: effective voice, as opposed to the far more widespread practices of affective voice. Effective voice is a form of individual or collective speech that brings about a binding effect according to transparent processes. Platform developers and researchers might explore this neglected form of voice by introducing mechanisms for authority and accountability, collective action, and community evolution."