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Tips for Discussing Politics Online


Have you heard? Discussing politics online is hard!

This is not news to most people. Whether you've tried to engage in political discourse on social media, in comments sections, or on message boards, you've probably had the experience of a difference in perspective devolving—so quickly—into name-calling, bad-faith arguments, and accusations. 

Online discourse lacks the nuance of tone, facial expressions, and emotional resonance. You know some people well while others are total strangers. You're not looking into someone's eyes as you make your case. It's almost impossible to find opportunities for connection and authenticity. And some platforms seem designed to reward chronic polarizing behaviors, leading to a toxic environment.

This worksheet contains three sets of tips for engaging in online discussions, with a focus on social media. It may take some intentional practice before these feel natural. But once you get the hang of them, these habits will help interrupt the most toxic dynamics of online political discourse.

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