Anonymization means that data cannot be linked to a particular individual. To anonymize our data, we will destroy the list of emails after we have linked the surveys and platform comments.The emails are the only thing that can identify participants. We will also check the comments on the platforms to remove any information that could identify participants. Only at this point will we will release the dataset as open data.

Commenting platform

A commenting platform is a website where a user can leave a comment under an object (a movie, a text, etc.). The most common commenting platform uses a chatline where comments appear one after the other.


The last phase of weDialogue after the experiment is concluded is called the debriefing phase. This phase will allow participants to access all the platforms that were used during the experiment and will ask participants to offer feedback about what they have learned and their thoughts on the research design itself. We hope to replicate and improve this research design in future projects, so the feedback we will collect from participants will be extremely important.

Ethical review

Any research undertaken by universities requires ethical review. This is an official process to check that there is will will be no harm to participants and that data is treated in an ethical and responsible manner.


Experimental research aims to compare a group that has received a treatment with another group that has not been exposed in the same way. It is most common in medical research, but is becoming more popular in social science. To be accurate we are undertaking a randomized controlled trial (RCT). People participating in the trial are randomly allocated to different groups. This methodology allows researchers to determine any effects of the treatment by holding other variables constant. In our case the treatment is different commenting platforms. We will randomly assign participants to groups and then to platforms using the demographic information collected in the first survey.


The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“GDPR”) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

Participatory action research

We understand participatory action research as a methodology that involves collaboration between academic researchers and citizens with the objective of learning together and combining academic and citizens’ knowledge.

Participatory means that we approach this research transparently and engage participants in the research process. We offer an explanation of all the elements of the experiment and also introduce a final feedback phase in which all participants can explore all the platforms and discussion groups and provide open feedback. Traditional experiments do not offer such an opportunity. We will also share all data and research in our website.

Action means that we are building and sharing software and procedures that others will be able to reuse. All the software and procedures will be released under an open access license.

Research means… well, research. We are exploring together new ways to comment online with a rigorous and novel approach. The team will publish open access research using the data collected.

Third party software

In computer programming, third-party software is a reusable software component developed to be either freely distributed or sold by an entity other than the original vendor of the development platform.