Twitter Profiles of Organisations Fighting Against Cyberbullying and Bullying: An Exploration of Tweet Content, Influence and Reachability

Twitter Profiles of Organisations Fighting Against Cyberbullying and Bullying: An Exploration of Tweet Content, Influence and Reachability

Sophia Alim (Independent Researcher, Bradford, UK)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2017070104
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Abstract

Cyberbullying has become more popular on social networks especially on Twitter due to the popularity of information sharing. However, there is limited research into the tweet content and influence of Twitter profiles of organisations fighting against cyberbullying and bullying. For this article, Twitter profiles of eleven organisations were selected. Tweet contents and profiles features – the number of followers, mentions, retweets, the measure of Klout, interactor ratio and the number of tweet URL clicks – associated with influence and tweet content were analysed. Content analysis of the 321 tweets extracted from the eleven organisations highlighted that advice and opinions were the most discussed categories of tweets. The article showed that influence is a multifaceted concept. It involves not looking just at the popularity of the user but how content attracts other users, how other users react to tweet content and the sentiment the other users feel. Sentiment analysis highlighted the prevalence of sentiments such as fear and trust representing the fight against cyberbullying and bullying.
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1. Introduction

In recent years, instances of cyberbullying have increased. In 2013, the U.K had an estimated 5.43 million young people, who had experienced cyberbullying. Amongst those young people, 1.26 million had been subjected to extreme cyberbullying occurring on a daily basis (Ditch the label, 2013). Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technology to harass and harm in a deliberate, repetitive, and hostile manner (Stopbullying.gov, 2014). Table 1 presents the various methods of cyberbullying and demonstrates how much the online world has provided a platform for cyberbullying.

Table 1.
Types of Cyberbullying Adapted from (Willard, 2007)

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the online world enables cyberbullies to launch constant cyberbullying attacks against their victims. With technology use so prevalent in society today, it is difficult for cyberbullying victims to escape these attacks. Cyberbullying attacks happen on various media platforms, including email, text messages, webpages, social networking services (SNS), chat rooms, digital images, and online games (Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder, & Lattanner, 2014). One of the most popular mediums for cyberbullying attacks is SNS.

Twitter is an SNS that focuses on microblogging and allows users to send short messages to other users. Twitter has gained popularity in recent years and currently has 310 million active monthly users (Twitter, 2016a). On Twitter, short messages sent to other users are called Tweets, which are limited to 140 characters. Tweets often contain hashtags, used to index topics and keywords. URLs are also included in tweets to reference other websites. A reference to another user through the displaying of their username in the body of a tweet is known as a mention. In comparison, a reply is a response to another user but their username is placed at the front of the tweet. Replies can also be considered mentions (Twitter, 2016b).

One of the main purposes of posting tweets is to spread information quickly. To spread information, users post tweets to their followers (other users of Twitter who have agreed to receive a person’s tweets). Consequently, followers can retweet the tweet. A Retweet is “…a re-posting of a Tweet. Twitter's Retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers. You can retweet your own Tweets or Tweets from someone else…” (Twitter, 2016c). A tweet which has been retweeted can be identified by the notation ‘RT’ which appears at the beginning of the tweet. If a user has many followers and they retweet a tweet to their followers, information can potentially spread quickly (Redfern, Ingles, Neubeck, Johnston, & Semsarian, 2013).

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