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Christy Cheung: Societal Impacts of ICT Use – Understanding Bystanders’ Responses to Online Harassment

Online harassment, a type of cyberbullying behavior, poses serious risks to users of social networking sites (SNSs) and challenges to platform providers. Therefore many SNS providers have implemented built-in reporting functions to combat such aversive online behavior but the effectiveness of these tools are relatively unknown. In her talk, Christy Cheung gives insights about her research to address this gap.

Location: Weizenbaum-Institut, Hardenbergstraße 32, 10623 Berlin, Room C1 02


Time: Wednesday, May 29 2019 02:00 PM until Wednesday, May 29 2019 03:30 PM


Fellow Talk


Online harassment, a type of cyberbullying behavior,poses serious risks to users of social networking sites (SNSs) and challenges to platform providers. In recent years, many SNS providers have implemented built-in reporting functions to combat such aversive online behavior. However, the effectiveness of these reporting tools in encouraging proactive intervention remains relatively unknown. To address this gap, this study answers a recent call for understanding of the societal impact of the use of information technology and aims to identify the underlying mechanisms driving bystanders’ decision to use these built-in functions to report online harassment on SNSs.

Drawing on theory of cognitive appraisal, we develop a research model that explains how a set of appraisal factors shape bystanders’ willingness to use the built-in reporting function on SNSs. We empirically tested the research model with active Facebook users. The data analysis shows support for most of our hypotheses. Shedding light on how to effectively mitigate the negative consequences of online harassment, this study yields valuable insights that guide the development of a brighter and safer digital society.

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