Bringing online harassers to justice

By | August 24, 2018
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Sarita Schoenebeck (UMSI)

Online harassment usually originates from deviants operating in dark corners of  the internet. But research shows that, more and more, anyone online is capable of becoming a troll. Efforts to curb this behavior have not been effective because they approach the problem with the wrong tools, says Sarita Schoenebeck, assistant professor of information at the School of Information (UMSI). Instead, applying theories of justice may be  a more effective antidote. Schoenebeck and UMSI associate professor of information Cliff Lampe have been awarded a $909,213 National Science Foundation grant for their four-year study, “Drawing from Theories of Justice to Respond to Online Harassment.” Schoenebeck is principal investigator. According to their proposal, this wide-ranging study will “investigate the role that principles of justice can play in responding to online harassment in order to promote perceptions of fairness, and reduce the likelihood of future harassment by the offender and by community members.”