Cyber-trolling as symbolic violence

Deconstructing gendered abuse online

Authored by: Karen Lumsden , Heather M. Morgan

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Violence

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472483515
eBook ISBN: 9781315612997
Adobe ISBN:


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Media reports and public debates concerning the ‘dark side’ of the web focus on various forms of online abuse, such as trolling (Phillips, 2015), RIP trolling 1 (Marwick and Ellison, 2012), hate crime (Citron, 2016), cyber-bulling, e-bile (Jane, 2014a), revenge porn, stalking and sexting. Police and criminal justice agencies report difficulties in keeping up with the rise in the number of reports of online crime and abuse, while there are currently ineffective means of legislating against and/or investigating and prosecuting cases (Bishop, 2013). Social media corporations, such as Twitter, have been called to task for their slow responses to dealing with online abuse. In 2015 the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Dick Costolo, was quoted as stating in a leaked memo that ‘We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face everyday … I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It’s absurd’ (Griffin, 2015).

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