Towards Developing a Theory of Toxicity in the Context of Free/Open Source Software & Peer Production Communities

TitleTowards Developing a Theory of Toxicity in the Context of Free/Open Source Software & Peer Production Communities
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCarillo, Kevin Daniel Andre, Marsan Josianne, and Warwick Bogdan Negoita
Abstract

Information technology usage has positive aspects, but it has been acknowledged that there also exist negative ones that must be studied in more depth. Behaviors such as teasing and abusing are a main concern for Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) and peer production project leaders. Indeed, they have recurrently used the words "toxic" and "poison" to qualify behaviors threatening their communities' survival. Community health has been defined as the extent to which the vital systems of an online community are continuously performing normally. This definition is based on the metaphor of "online community as a living organism" , which brings the focus on the inner workings of communities and is particularly suited to study behaviors occurring within it. In this research project, we mobilize this organismic metaphor and borrow ideas from the Toxicology discipline to develop a theory of toxicity in FOSS and & peer production communities. There has been a substantial amount of research attention on 'toxic' and 'poisonous' behaviors at the individual level of analysis. Nonetheless, the higher-level concern of their interplay and implications on the life and health of FOSS/peer production communities, is still vastly unexplored. We would like to partake to the SIGOPEN 2016 Developmental Workshop for Openness Research to help us move our work forward with the ultimate objective to develop a theory of toxicity in the context of FOSS and peer production projects.

URLhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/311672787_Towards_Developing_a_Theory_of_Toxicity_in_the_Context_of_FreeOpen_Source_Software_Peer_Production_Communities