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Title: Trolling in computer-mediated communication : impoliteness, desception and manipulation online
Author: Hardaker , Claire
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Computer-mediated communication (CMC), or the communication that humans engage in via networked devices such as computers (December 1997; Ferris 1997; Herring 2003: 612), provides a rich area for the study of im/politeness and face -threat. Whilst CMC has many benefits, such as allowing quick and easy communication by those spatially and temporally separated (Herring, Job-Sluder, Scheckler & Barab 2002: 371), it is also predisposed towards higher levels of aggression than forms of interaction such as face-to-face communication (FtF). CMC can offer a degree of anonymity that may encourage deception, aggression, and manipulation due to a sense of impunity and a loss of empathy with the non-present recipient-an effect known as deindividuation (Kiesler, Siegel & McGuire 1984; Siegel, Dubrovsky, Kiesler & McGuire 1986; Sproull & Kiesler 1986). Using two WS_e_Q:e_t corpora with a combined wordcount of 86,412,727 words, I primarily investigate a negatively marked online behaviour (NMOB) known as trolling, which involves deliberately attempting to provoke online conflict. I secondarily investigate related NMOBs such as flaming (a reaction or over-reaction to perceived provocation), cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking. The analysis establishes that academia and legislation use these terms in vague, contradictory, or widely overlapping ways. This thesis aims to answer three research questions. The first (what is trolling?) formulates a definition of trolling, including its interrelationships with other NMOB, using a quantitative and qualitative corpus linguistic approach. The second (how is trolling carried out?) outlines the major trolling strategies found in the dataset, along with the user responses to those strategies, and the troller defences to those user responses. The third (how is trolling co-constructed?), which is closely related to the second, qualitatively investigates one extended example of trolling to see how this NMOB is co-constructed by the group via impoliteness, identity construction, and deception. Wordcount excluding front- and back-matter: 89,823
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available