Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Us vs them: Tribalism, selective exposure & how non-partisan online news media engagement can be facilitated

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posted on 2021-12-08, 02:26 authored by Doran, Christopher

Codeswitching is the action of switching between languages to better impart information to a recipient. This thesis introduces a set of codeswitching translator tools as a method of disrupting the potentially damaging structures of tribal politics through the manipulation of ideologically specific language norms. We first investigate how tribalism and group identity impact our ability to participate in political discourse. Using this insight from a host of different research disciplines, we design an iterative testing environment for a variety of ‘codeswitching’ translators in order to see the impact of translations ranging in complexity from simple word and syntax substitution through to machine learning back-translation. Though back-translation was not found to be an effective technique, simple substitution methods provided a foundation of effectiveness and proof of concept among test participants, especially those that identified as politically aligned.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


White, Tom