Socialising Social Media

CCDH's current research priority, Socialising Social Media, aims to deal with abuse on social media by recruiting offline institutions to impose consequences for online behaviour.


Socialising Social Media will aggregate research on the nature of online discourse and argue that despite the image of social media as the product of an ultra-liberal socio-cultural milieu from San Francisco, online discourse is highly regressive and in fact anti-Enlightenment. The silencing of women’s and minorities’ voices online using threats and abusive language is a serious problem on social media, especially for those in public life. It structurally tilts online spaces against women and minorities.


We seek to encourage antisocial online behaviour to be met with opprobrium and consequence both on- and offline. The groups we choose to join are a big part of our identity as individuals. The threat of opprobrium or, in the worst case, exile, are powerful pscyhological disincentives to behaviour that transgresses communal social mores and norms. Our lives involve multiple such groups that might be able to exert an influence on our behaviour by making clear that our online conduct is salient to their view of us.


We will seek practical ways to show how hurting people online, in particular using identity-based abuse and intimidation, can and should lead to serious offline consequences.