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Hate for Fun online culture among children and youth from the perspective of children, teachers and parents

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Web experienceENG

  1. 1. H&F online youth culture The role of Internet in blurring the line between fun and hate
  2. 2. Online aggression according to children, parents and teachers Focus-groups and online surveys
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Hate-for-Fun culture </li></ul><ul><li>A hint from psychology of humor… </li></ul><ul><li>What is benign wrongdoing </li></ul><ul><li>In the context of cyber-bullying and e-aggression… </li></ul><ul><li>Focus-groups and surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Alarmed or relieved? </li></ul><ul><li>Designing interventions </li></ul>
  4. 4. H&F Culture <ul><li>Besides the hate sites and communities, there are plenty of “socially acceptable” aggressive online activities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gossip websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mocking pages / blogs / profiles in SNSs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mocking videos and pictures and groups forming around them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming chats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funny hate sites: example of a recently appeared Bulgarian website Mrazia.com (Hate.com). It is designed as an amusement, users create new hate categories expanding from “I hate gypsies” and “I hate women” to “I hate 23-rd school” and “I hate Teddy the gypsy” “I hate my teacher …….” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What turns hate into mainstream online amusement? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. A hint from psychology of humor… <ul><li>Benign Violation Theory by Peter McGraw and Caleb Warren (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Wrongdoing tend to elicit laughter and amusement occur when (3 conditions): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 . something threatens one’s sense of how the world “ought to be ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. the threatening situation seems benign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- 3. a person sees both interpretations at the same time </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. What is benign wrongdoing? <ul><li>The wrongdoing (violation of any social norm) is perceived as benign if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>one norm suggests something is wrong but another salient norm suggests it is acceptable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one is psychologically distant from the violation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one is weakly committed to the violated norm </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. In the context of cyber-bullying and e-aggression… <ul><li>There are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting norms: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Violation of social norms without actual physical harm - lowering the perceived harm of the wrongdoing. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological distance: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No face-to face interaction between target and perpetrator. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low commitment to the norm: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The perceived unlimited and unconditional freedom of speech online lowers commitment to norms of good conduct. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Therefore, it is more likely the online abuse to be perceived as benign, and therefore, as fun by both victims , perpetrators and bystanders. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Phase I: Focus groups <ul><li>3 focus groups on cyber-bullying from 4 schools with different rating in May-June 2011 : </li></ul><ul><li>a12 teachers </li></ul><ul><li>b 12 pupils 12-13 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>c 12 pupils 15-16 years of age </li></ul>
  9. 10. Focus-groups summary results <ul><li>Online aggression (incl. cyber-bullying) among children is widespread – all 3 groups </li></ul><ul><li>They do it mostly for fun – teachers </li></ul><ul><li>We know many cases of malicious aggressive acts online – all pupils </li></ul><ul><li>Education is needed – teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Cyber-bullies must be punished – all children </li></ul>
  10. 11. Phase II: Online surveys <ul><li>3 opt-in surveys: published at Safenet.bg, Teacher.bg, Teenproblem.net, BG-mamma.com </li></ul><ul><li>Respondents: </li></ul><ul><li>- Children – 213 </li></ul><ul><li>- Parents – 33 </li></ul><ul><li>- Teachers - 1033 </li></ul>
  11. 12. Surveys methodology <ul><li>Opt-in surveys chosen because: </li></ul><ul><li>- the aim is not to measure frequencies of e-aggression and cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>- the respondents must have personal experience </li></ul><ul><li>- personal experience is necessary to study deeper attitudes and perceptions </li></ul>
  12. 13. My online experience Participants : 2 13 Children
  13. 14. Age
  14. 15. Gender
  15. 16. Have you ever been offended, embarrassed or humiliated by someone online ?
  16. 17. In most cases the perpetrator was ....
  17. 18. In most cases the perpetrator wanted ...
  18. 19. When for fun, it happens via (multiple answers):
  19. 20. When for real, it happens via (multiple answers):
  20. 21. Have you ever offended, embarrassed, or humiliated someone online?
  21. 22. In most cases I attacked ....
  22. 23. I most cases I wanted ...
  23. 24. When for real, it happens via (more than one answer allowed) :
  24. 25. When for fun, it happens via (multiple answers) :
  25. 26. My child in Internet Participants: 33 Parents
  26. 27. As far as you are aware, has your child been offended, embarrassed or humiliated by someone online?
  27. 28. In most cases the perpetrator was…
  28. 29. In most cases the perpetrator wanted…
  29. 30. It happens via ( multiple answers ):
  30. 31. My pupils in Internet Participants: 1033 Teachers
  31. 32. Are you aware of cases when a pupil has been offended, embarrassed, or humiliated by someone online?
  32. 33. In most cases the perpetrator was…
  33. 34. In most cases the perpetrator wanted…
  34. 35. It happens via ( multiple answers ):
  35. 36. Conclusions I <ul><li>Hostility, aggression, rude behaviour have become an integral and socially acceptable part of the online culture of youth. </li></ul><ul><li>In most cases the aim is: </li></ul><ul><li>- exploring the borders, social norms </li></ul><ul><li>- experimenting with other identities </li></ul><ul><li>- attempt for self-identification by the negative </li></ul><ul><li>- search for popularity OR </li></ul><ul><li>- IN GENERAL – EXPERIMENTATION AND FUN </li></ul>
  36. 37. Conclusions II <ul><li>Reported rates of cyber-bullying (up to over 70% in some studies) are overestimation of the actual harm as perceived by the parties involved – in most cases perceived as “fun”. </li></ul><ul><li>Children, their parents and teachers share common understanding of rates, nature and channels of aggressive communication online – mostly for “fun”. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents and teachers underestimate the element of experimentation – they believe in “someone the kid knows” and children report the opposite. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Alarmed or relieved? <ul><li>Overwhelmingly perceived harmlessness might explain some light-hearted attitude of parents and teachers towards cyber-bullying. </li></ul><ul><li>However, mere exposure to hostile humor could increase the overt aggressive behaviour (Baron, 1978). </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, H&F culture may be significant part of the vicious circle of aggression – online aggression - though “for fun”, reinforces aggressive behavior in all parties involved, resulting in even more aggression. </li></ul><ul><li>More research needed. </li></ul>
  38. 39. Implications for interventions <ul><li>One possible remedy for H&F culture is to take fun out of the equation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resolving the conflict of norms : Raising awareness of the harm, caused by online aggression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortening the psychological distance : Raising emotional intelligence by education and awareness raising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing commitments to norms of good conduct online: Reinforcing guidelines for netiquette </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targeted online means of communication: SNSs, Skype and forums, blogs and sharing platforms like YouTube. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing methodological materials for teachers. </li></ul>
  39. 40. One example of intervention <ul><li>The project “Real and Virtual Violence: Prevention by Interactive Education in Schools” </li></ul><ul><li>3 cities, 80 schools, more than 120 educators trained (supported by Swiss Oak Foundation and Safer Internet Programme of the EC) </li></ul><ul><li>Methodological guidebook for educators – 25 lessons, available in English on Insafe portal </li></ul><ul><li>Second volume with 18 additional lessons under print </li></ul><ul><li>Aim: raising awareness, developing empathy and emotional intelligence </li></ul>
  40. 41. Thank you! <ul><li>Georgi Apostolov </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Luiza Shahbazyan </li></ul><ul><li>Project officer </li></ul><ul><li>Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre - member of InSafe and INHOPE </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>