Understanding the Bystander Audience in Online Incivility Encounters: Conceptual Issues and Future Research Questions

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Kim, Yeweon
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Abstract
This paper presents a theoretical exploration of how and why the 1960’s bystander theory is a valuable lens through which to study contemporary uncivil online communication, particularly in user commenting spaces. Based on the literature on bystander intervention, which includes extensive field and experimental research on bystander behavior in emergency situations, this paper understands non-target readers of uncivil comments as the bystander audience, which is made up of people who encounter an emerging form of online emergencies and can decide whether and how to intervene. In doing so, some particularities of online affordances are taken into account to predict how they might challenge the application of traditional bystander literature. Through such considerations, this paper identifies a set of future research questions about the underlying conditions, causes, and consequences of intervention against online incivility, and then concludes with some limitations and implications of the proposed approach.
Description
Keywords
Mediated Conversation, bystander audience, bystander effect, online incivility, theoretical proposal, user comment
Citation
Rights
Access Rights
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.