Rechat: Ferramenta para Estudo do Comportamento de Usuários em Sistemas de Bate-papo do Estilo WhatsApp
The spread of misinformation, hate speech, or sexist discourse had become a significant problem, especially on chat platforms. This article describes a data collection and processing tool to support research on users’ behavior exposed to these contents. Our motivation is the recent need to study profiles that propagate this type of information and the need to understand these new dissemination mechanisms. This tool provides a web configuration panel and a mobile application for data collection. Using a chatbot mechanism, the panel allows researchers to perform personalized experiments to analyze specific issues. The application collects the user’s basic profile, allows interaction with the chatbots sent by the researcher, and runs on the volunteers’ devices, similar to a real messaging application such as WhatsApp or Telegram. The data generated regarding the user’s interactions with the application can be exported for analysis through the panel. Also, we describe the insertion of optional codes that can be executed in parallel to the conversations, helping in sophisticated personalizations. We believe that the proposed open-source tool will help researchers from different areas, even without computer programming skills, to understand fundamental mechanisms of user behavior in mobile chat systems.
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