Social Media and Trolling Phenomenon

Research Project, (ID 741) supported by Hacettepe University Scientific Research Committee, has been just completed. The research team are Mutlu Binark, Şule Karataş, Eray Koca and Tuğrul Çomu. This project focuses on the troll phenomenon which is becoming a significant social problem on social media environments. Trolling can be defined as producing, sharing and spreading manipulative content on social media environments through both the information shared/used/consumed on the medium and the public included in the web by mostly anonymous accounts. Trolling phenomenon is analyzed in this study under the following topics: the etimology of the word; types of trolls and trolling; the ways of doing and targets of trolls; struggling strategies against trolling. This project will be the first large scaled field research on this issue. During the project, two different research techniques are used followed by the literature review: (1) Detection of sample troll accounts on Twitter interface, interface analysis and conduction thematic content analysis to the captured relevant content; (2) in depth interview with various experts on the field of new media such as academicians, professionals of new media industry and lawyers specialized on IT/Informatics. This study evaluate whether developing new media literacy would be a struggle strategy against trolling on social media environments according to the experts’ opinion.

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