Troll studies: resources on trolling, vandalism, incivility online [updated Sept. 2015]

This is part of my ongoing research in the field of troll studies. Follow the hashtag #trollstudies on Twitter, or click here for a selection of my videos, articles, and interviews about trolling (French and English).

Peer reviewed articles, conference proceedings, and dissertations

Anderson, Ashley A., Dominique Brossard, Dietram A. Scheufele, Michael A. Xenos, & Peter Ladwig (2014) The “Nasty Effect:” Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19 (3): 373‑387.

Bakioğlu, Burcu S. (2012). Negotiating governance in virtual worlds: grief play, hacktivism, and LeakOps in Second Life®. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 18(4): 237‑59.

Bellanger, Aurélien (2013) Le trolling politique : Comment une pratique du web 2.0 s’est-elle immiscée dans le débat et l’arène politique ?. Master 1 dissertation, Science Politique, Université de Montpellier, France.

Bernstein, Michael S., Andrés Monroy-Hernandez, & Drew Harry (2011) 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community. Proceedings of the Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

Bishop, Jonathan (2014). Representations of ‘trolls’ in mass media communication: A review of media-texts and moral panics relating to ‘internet trolling’. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 10(1): 7‑24.

Bishop, Jonathan (2013) The art of trolling law enforcement: a review and model for implementing ‘flame trolling’ legislation enacted in Great Britain (1981–2012). International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 27 (3): 301‑318.

Boyd, Michael S. (2014) (New) participatory framework on YouTube? Commenter interaction in US political speeches. Journal of Pragmatics. Online first.

Buckels, Erin E., Trapnell, Paul D. & Delroy L. Paulhu (2014) Trolls just want to have fun, Personality and Individual Differences. Personality and Individual Differences, Online first.

Burroughs, Benjamin (2013) FCJ-165 Obama Trolling: Memes, Salutes and an Agonistic Politics in the 2012 Presidential Election FibreCulture Journal. “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Cheng, Justin, Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil Christian & Jure Leskovec (2015) Antisocial Behavior in Online Discussion Communities,  Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI ICWSM).

Coe, Kevin, Kenski, Kate & Stephen A. Rains (2014) Online and Uncivil? Patterns and Determinants of Incivility in Newspaper Website Comments. Journal of Communication, 64(4): 658–679.

Coleman, E. Gabriella (2012) Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls: The Politics of Transgression and Spectacle. In Mandiberg, M. (ed.). The Social Media Reader, New York: New York University Press.

Dalton, Eric J. (2013) Impoliteness in Computer Mediated Communication. Master of Arts in Linguistics Thesis, San Diego State University.

De Seta, Gabriele (2013) FCJ-167 Spraying, fishing, looking for trouble: The Chinese Internet and a critical perspective on the concept of trolling. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Donath, Judith S. (1999) Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community. In: Kollock, P. and Smith M. (eds). Communities in Cyberspace, London: Routledge.

Fuller, Glen, Christian McCrea, & Jason Wilson (2013) Troll Theory?, FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Gershon, Ilana (2014) Publish and Be Damned: New Media Publics and Neoliberal Risk. Ethnography, 15(1): 70‑87.

Golumbia, David (2013) Commercial Trolling: Social Media and the Corporate Deformation of Democracy, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) – Department of English.

Hardaker, Claire (2013) “Uh. . . . not to be nitpicky…but…the past tense of drag is dragged, not drug.” An overview of trolling strategies. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 1(1): 58–86.

Hardaker, Claire (2010). Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions, Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture, 6(2): 215–242.

Herring, Susan, Job-Sluder, Kirk, Scheckler, Rebecca & Sasha Barab (2002) Searching for Safety Online: Managing “Trolling” in a Feminist Forum. The Information Society, 18(5): 371‑384.

Herwig, Jana (2011) The Archive as the Repertoire. Mediated and Embodied Practice on Imageboard In Friesinger, G.,  Grenzfurthner, J., Ballhausen, T. (eds.) Mind and Matter. Comparative Approaches Toward Complexity. Bielefeld: transcript.

Higgin, Tanner (2013) FCJ-159 /b/lack up: What Trolls Can Teach Us About Race. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Holmes, Steve (2013) FCJ-160 Politics is Serious Business: Jacques Rancière, Griefing, and the Re-Partitioning of the (Non)Sensical. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Jane, Emma A. (2014) Beyond Antifandom: Cheerleading, Textual Hate and New Media Ethics. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 17(2): 175‑190.

Jarvenpaa, Sirkka L., & Ann Majchrzak (2010). Research Commentary–Vigilant Interaction in Knowledge Collaboration: Challenges of Online User Participation Under Ambivalence ». Information Systems Research, 21(4): 773‑84.

Karppi, Tero (2013) FCJ-166 ‘Change name to No One. Like people’s status’ Facebook Trolling and Managing Online Personas. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Kirman, Ben, Lineham, Conor & Shaun Lawson (2012). Exploring Mischief and Mayhem in Social Computing or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trolls ». CHI ’12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York: 121‑30.

Knuttila, Lee (2011) User Unknown: 4chan, Anonymity and Contingency. First Monday, 16(10).

Krappitz, Stefan (2012) Troll Culture: A Comprehensive Guide, Diplomarbeit, Neue Medien, Merz Akademie, Hochschule für Gestaltung, Kunst und Medien, Stuttgart.

 Lamba, Herman, Malik, Momin M. & Jürgen Pfeffer (2015) A Tempest in a Teacup? Analyzing Firestorms on Twitter, ASONAM Proceedings.

Lampe, Cliff, Zube, Paul, Lee, Jusil, Park, Chul Hyun, & Erik Johnston (2014) Crowdsourcing civility: A natural experiment examining the effects of distributed moderation in online forums. Government Information Quarterly, 31(2): 317‑326.

Leaver, Tama (2013) FCJ-163 Olympic Trolls: Mainstream Memes and Digital Discord?. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Cheng, Justin, Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Cristian & Jure Lescovec (2015) Antisocial Behavior in Online Discussion Communities, AAAI ICWSM, 2015.

Lu, Shuang-shuang. (2010) A Tentative Study of the Impoliteness Phenomenon in Computer-mediated Communication. Cross-Cultural Communication, 6(1): 92‑107.

MacKinnon, Rebecca, et Ethan Zuckerman (2012) Don’t Feed the Trolls. Index on Censorship, 41(4): 14‑24.

Manivannan, Vyshali (2013) FCJ-158 Tits or GTFO: The logics of misogyny on 4chan’s Random – /b/. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Marwick, Alice & Nicole B. Ellison (2012) “There Isn”t Wifi in Heaven!’ Negotiating Visibility on Facebook Memorial Pages. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(3): 378‑400.

McCosker, Anthony (2013) FCJ-161 Productive Provocations: Vitriolic Media, Spaces of Protest and Agonistic Outrage in the 2011 England Riots. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

McCosker, Anthony (2014) Trolling as Provocation: YouTube’s Agonistic Publics. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 20(2): 201‑217.

Miller, Vincent (2012) A Crisis of Presence: On-line Culture and Being in the World. Space and Polity, 16 (3): 265‑285.

Milner, Ryan M. (2013) FCJ-156 Hacking the Social: Internet Memes, Identity Antagonism, and the Logic of Lulz. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Mocanu, Delia, Rossi, Luca, Zhang, Qian, Karsai, Marton, & Walter Quattrociocchi (2014) Collective attention in the age of (mis)information. arXiv, 1403.3344.

Morrissey, Lochlan (2010). Trolling is a art: Towards a schematic classification of intention in internet trolling. Griffith Working Papers in Pragmatics and Intercultural Communications, 3(2): 75-82.

Ortega, F. Javier, Troyano, José A. Cruz, Fermín L., Vallejo, Carlos G. & Fernando Enríquez (2012). Propagation of Trust and Distrust for the Detection of Trolls in a Social Network. Computer Networks, 56(12): 2884‑2895.

Pearce, Katy, & Adnan Hajizada (2014) No Laughing Matter Humor as a Means of Dissent in the Digital Era: The Case of Authoritarian Azerbaijan. Demokratizatsiya, 22(1): 67‑85.

Phillips, Whitney (2011) LOLing at Tragedy: Facebook Trolls, Memorial Pages and Resistance to Grief Online. First Monday, 16 (12).

Phillips, Whitney (2011) Meet the Trolls. Index on Censorship, 40(2): 68‑76.

Phillips, Whitney (2013) The House That Fox Built Anonymous, Spectacle, and Cycles of Amplification. Television & New Media, 14(6): 494‑509.

Phillips, Whitney (2015) This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Cambridge. Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture, MA: MIT Press.

Reagle, Joseph M. (2015) Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Shachaf, Pnina, & Noriko Hara (2010) Beyond Vandalism: Wikipedia Trolls. Journal of Information Science, 36(3) : 357‑370.

Shaw, Frances (2013) FCJ-157 Still ‘Searching for Safety Online’: collective strategies and discursive resistance to trolling and harassment in a feminist network. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Thacker, Scott, & Mark D. Griffiths (2012) An exploratory study of trolling in online video gaming. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 2(4), 17-33.

Tkacz, Nathaniel (2013) FCJ-154 Trolls, Peers and the Diagram of Collaboration, FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Whelan, Andrew (2013) FCJ-155 EVEN WITH CRUISE CONTROL YOU STILL HAVE TO STEER: defining trolling to get things done. FibreCulture Journal, “Trolls and The Negative Space of the Internet”, 22.

Younus, Arjumand, Qureshi, M. Atif, Saeed, Muhammad, Touheed, Nasir, O’Riordan, Colm & Gabriella Pasi (2014). Election Trolling: Analyzing Sentiment in Tweets During Pakistan Elections 2013. Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web Companion: 411‑412.

The number of my online friends and Dunbar's not-so-hidden scientific agenda

First of all, you might want to read this remarkably insightful blog post featured in Paola Tubaro’s Blog – about a recent article on social network size, online friending and Dunbar’s number published in Cyberpsychology. Here’s the complete reference to the article:

ResearchBlogging.orgPollet, T., Roberts, S., & Dunbar, R. (2011). Use of Social Network Sites and Instant Messaging Does Not Lead to Increased Offline Social Network Size, or to Emotionally Closer Relationships with Offline Network Members Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14 (4), 253-258 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0161

As for the analysis, let me just quote from Paola (it’s not that I’m lazy, but I tend to agree with pretty much evertything she says, especially because she draws heavily on previous posts and conferences of mine dealing with the same subjects ;P)

How many friends do you have? « Paola Tubaro’s Blog

What I would like to add here is just that the article might not be all that interesting, weren’t it authored by Robin “Dunbar’s number” Dunbar himself. (more…)

Colloque Performance, théâtre, anthropologie (INHA/EHESS, 24-25 mai 2011)

J’interviendrai lors de ces deux journées d’études organisées par Georges Vigarello, Sylvie Roques et Christian Biet.  Voilà pour l’instant l’argumentaire et le programme – cela s’annonce tout à fait passionnant.

PERFORMANCE, théâtre, anthropologie

Le mot de performance s’est imposé dans le monde de l’art. Les chorégraphies de Jérôme Bel en danse, le « bio-art » de Yann Marussich jusqu’aux transformations physiques d’Orlan en sont autant d’exemples Il est porté sans doute par un contexte : celui de la productivité, de l’innovation, voire de l’informatisation1. Il s’est imposé aussi au théâtre, d’autant plus facilement d’ailleurs que la place du « faire » y semble première. Il s’y est même banalisé, régulièrement évoqué, jusqu’à apparaître quelquefois comme étant à l’essence même du jeu2. L’intérêt indéniable est ici d’aiguiser l’attention vers la part physique du spectacle, son versant le plus charnel.


  1. Voir Innovation et performance, approches interdisciplinaires, dir. D. Foray et J. Mannesse, Paris, EHESS, 1999.
  2. F. Dupont, « Facere ludos. La fonction rituelle et l’écriture du texte dans la comédie romaine: un exemple, le pseudolus de Plaute », Colloque international, Genève, 27-29 novembre 2003.

What's the actual size of your personal social network? Some numbers

Ok, so you have hundreds of friends on Facebook and thousands of followers on Twitter. Big deal. How many will show up to help you win that human pyramid contest, uh? And how many have you actually being interacting with in the last few months? More broadly, what’s the size of your actual social network? Scientists have been looking for an answer to that question, exploring the cognitive limits of the number of individuals one person can create ties with, both online and offline.

Famously, in 1992 anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed a rough estimate of 150. The ‘Dunbar’s number’ was the result of a large-scale study comparing the size of the neocortex in primates and humans. But in 1998 that figure pretty much doubled when social network analyst Peter Killworth contemplated a mean personal network size of 290. And in 2010 that number doubled again, as sociologist Matthew Salganik settled for an estimate of 610 personal ties.

So who says 1,200? Nobody yet. Maybe (I’m just teasing) psychologist Lisa Barrett will come up with a number of her own, if the hype surrounding her latest article published in Nature Neuroscience continues. What hype? Didn’t you see this?

Apparently, after scanning a few brains, Barrett and her team discovered a fancy correlation between personal network size and the size of the corpus amygdaloideum. Turns out Facebook has nothing to do with the matter in question. If the numbers of the average size of personal networks are going up as years go by, it’s not because of our increasing technological embeddedness. Dunbar’s number was based on the size of human neocortex (i.e. that part of the human brain presiding higher mental functions), so it  would come as no surprise if it was way smaller than the one correlated to the size of the amygdala (the part that regulates emotional responses and aggression). After all, it’s safe to say that among our acquaintances the number of those we would like to punch is higher than that of those with whom we would enjoy a civilized chat…


Bickart, K., Wright, C., Dautoff, R., Dickerson, B., & Barrett, L. (2010). Amygdala volume and social network size in humans Nature Neuroscience, advance online publication DOI: 10.1038/nn.2724

Dunbar, R. (1992). Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates Journal of Human Evolution, 22 (6), 469-493 DOI: 10.1016/0047-2484(92)90081-J

Killworth, P., Johnsen, E., Bernard, H. R., Shelley, G., & McCarty, C. (1990). Estimating the size of personal networks Social Networks, 12 (4), 289-312 DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X

McCormick, T., Salganik, M., & Zheng, T. (2010). How Many People Do You Know?: Efficiently Estimating Personal Network Size Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105 (489), 59-70 DOI: 10.1198/jasa.2009.ap08518

ps. This post was inspired by a few tweets exchanged with mathematician Valdis Krebs (@orgnet) and anthropologist Sally Applin (@AnthroPunk). To them goes my appreciation and #FF.

Archéologies du Cyborg – Hybridation, contamination, individuation

La deuxième séance de mon séminaire EHESS Corps et TIC : approches socio-anthropologiques des usages numériques a eu lieu le jeudi 9 déc. 2010. Le sujet traité : la notion de cyborg, son impact sur la culture numérique contemporaine dès la parution du célèbre Cyborg Manifesto de Donna Haraway. Voilà les slides et une bibliographie contenant les textes cités.

La prochaine séance (où il sera question d’avatars bleus) aura lieu le jeudi 13 janvier 2011 de 17h à 19h en salle 5, 105 bd Raspail 75006 Paris. Pour s’inscrire, il suffit de m’envoyer un petit mail gentil.