Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Joey Pogue

Second Advisor

Dr. Troy Comeau

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Peterson


This research study is an attempt to distinguish between two types of incivility; tone-based incivility and content-based incivility. Building upon and extending on the theoretical framework proposed by Muddiman (Muddiman, 2017) on political incivility, this paper is an attempt to construct a two-dimensional framework within which online incivility could be analyzed. 624 comments were quantitatively analyzed from two news stories on the page of the New York Times on Facebook. The study established that tone based uncivil comments and content based uncivil comments could be a two-dimensional framework, within which to examine extant online discourse. It also found that despite concerns of uncivil behavior abounding on social media, especially Facebook, the overwhelming majority of the comments were civil in nature.



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