Bonding through judging: Twitter's “Am I The Asshole” community

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This talk concerns the affinity space created around the popular Twitter account @AITA_reddit. This profile reposts AITA (‘Am I the Asshole’) posts from the Reddit community of the same name, where users share tricky or questionable situations in which they have found themselves, and ask other users whether they are at fault. The Twitter followers’ comments are a mix of serious judgements on the original posts and many different forms of online creative conversational humour (Dynel & Poppi, 2020), which includes meme usage, in-jokes and intertextuality. In this affinity space, certain users emerge as key figures due to the specific roles they play in the community, which are reinforced by other community members. Relational work is performed in across the community, by displaying shared likes and beliefs thus demonstrating sameness, and by showing empathy towards both the victims in AITA stories and each other. Additionally, ambient affiliation (Zappavigna, 2011) among users can be expressed through likes, retweets to (mostly) stand-alone comments, and participation in opinion polls.
Period4 Nov 2021
Held atLanguages
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • affinity space
  • moral order
  • relational work
  • community