Each year, The Webby Awards team looks at our extensive body of entries and at what is happening within our own industry research to determine emerging trends on the Internet, and how they’re shaping our lives and work.
This year, our team is traveling the world with our Webby Talk: Under the Influence: How the Internet exploits our thirst for a good fight, and leaves us wanting more.
Under the Influence
You know that feeling. A distant relative posts something offensive on social media, you blink, and suddenly you’ve been tearing into your cousin for two hours online. Or you log on, and your feed is inundated with arguments spanning seven different topics.
As we explored over 13,000 entries and a survey conducted in partnership with YouGov of 3,000 people across the U.S., we recognized a theme: As online platforms and algorithms exploit our desire to engage with controversy—by creating a constant feedback look of provocative content—we are seeing far more fighting on the Internet, with far greater consequences. And it’s leaving people more angry and polarized than before.
Our research dives into this trend, why, how, and where it’s happening, and the types of work people actually want while living in a culture of conflict.