Emotional labor is an essential component of knowledge work. As knowledge work increasingly moves online, we need to understand emotional labor performed online. Extant emotion research cautions against blindly applying insights about emotional labor from a face-to-face context to an online context. Yet, we know little about emotional labor performed online. We raise the following questions about emotional labor by community moderators: What constitutes “appropriate emotional displays” in online communities? How do community members’ emotional displays interact with use of technology features to influence moderators’ displays? Our findings suggest that the high-/low-energy dimension of emotion is more salient to the emotional labor performed by community moderators than is the conventionally-studied positive versus negative affect dimension. Findings further reveal the tendency for community members’ use of technology features in stylizing their posts to induce mindfulness in moderators’ emotional displays in response to those posts.
Young, Amber; Miranda, Sheila; and Summers, Jama Denae, "Emotional Labor in the Moderation of Online Communities" (2013). SIGHCI 2013 Proceedings. 14.