Online Awfulness

Joseph Reagle

http://reagle.org/joseph/talks/2016/03-online-awfulness.html 

Media

  • hyperpersonal media and deindividuation effects
  • the hotter it is, the faster apples in a barrel spoil

it finally hit me. There is a living, breathing human being who is reading this shit. I am attacking someone who never harmed me in any way. —Lindy West’s cruelest troll

Culture

  • an apple in a rotting barrel is likely to go bad
  • so is someone in a rotten subreddit
Violentacrez
Violentacrez

Personality

  • measures of sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism are positively correlated with trolling
  • strong relationship between “online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and trolling behavior and identity” (BuckelsTrapnellPaulhus 2014)
Luka Magnotta
Luka Magnotta

Responses

  • media: assume good faith, the person may not appreciate they are being awful
  • culture: don’t feed the trolls and no chum for the haters; engage in responsible forums with pro-social norms and moderation
  • personality: avoid and report

Take it seriously, but don’t freak out. When I was partially DOXed, I didn’t expect anything, but I told campus police.

Limitations

  • I have not addressed issues specific to hate of women, persons of color, religions, sexuality and gender identity, etc.
  • See the Online Harassment Resource Guide for a more thorough review of the research.

Thanks for listening!