Summit App

By James Hanks Digital Design Branding and Marketing Final Year Project 2018/2019

An ethical discussion widget designed to facilitate positive online discourse.

Social platforms exploit negative human behaviour in order to succeed. Anxiety-driven reactions, social pressure and use of gambling mechanics make it a lot faster and easier to increase engagement than through more positive methods; they have therefore become the standard for creating new platforms for digital interaction.

Without strict moderation or an alternative to text-based communication, few successful examples of platforms encouraging positive discourse exist. Those that apply strict moderation are less popular because such rules can render content boring.
Games use rules which actively add to an engaging experience, and can result in encouraging users to behave in a certain way. Could a social platform’s moderation rules be reframed as game rules in order to make them more appealing?

Summit is an embeddable discussion widget seeking to bring positive discourse back to the internet. It achieves this through subtly gamified discussion—positive behaviour and genuine, informative discussion is rewarded. The project is a collaboration with Change A View; a US company spun out from popular subreddit r/ChangeMyView, that seeks to facilitate positive discourse using its new discussion platform.

Supervised by Dr Harry Agius

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