Understanding Failures and Potentials of Argumentation Tools for Public Deliberation

De Liddo, Anna and Strube, Rosa (2021). Understanding Failures and Potentials of Argumentation Tools for Public Deliberation. In: C&T '21: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Communities & Technologies - Wicked Problems in the Age of Tech (Cech, Florian and Farnham, Shelly eds.), International Conference Proceeding Series (ICPS), Association for Computing Machinery, New York, USA, pp. 75–88.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3461564.3461584


Argument mapping technologies have been historically proposed in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Computer Supported Argument Visualisation (CSAV) research to improve online deliberation practices, but they have hardly overcome issues of non-expert users' uptake. This paper presents LiteMap a novel online collaborative argument mapping tool which combines web annotation with light-weight argument mapping features to enable visual summarisation and sensemaking of public online debates. Lessons learned from a user study indicate that LiteMap can be effectively used by untrained users to collectively summarize online discussion forum conversations. LiteMap is reported to improve self-reflection on both, group performance and assessment of the quality of an online conversation. The use of the argument mapping tool has also enhanced the mappers' understanding of the nature of the debated issues. Nonetheless, map creators have reported the need for parallel negotiation channels to disambiguate meaning and manage disagreement while co-creating an argument map.

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