Automatic monitoring of cyberbullying on social networking sites : from technical feasibility to desirability
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Documentation and information
Telematics and informatics. - New York
, p. 89-97
University of Antwerp
The automatic monitoring of cyberbullying on social networking sites has potential for signalling harmful messages, preventing these messages from remaining online and providing timely responses. Although technological advancements are made to optimise automatic cyberbullying detection systems, little is known about its desirability and requirements. Experts in the field of cyberbullying, as excellent sources of valuable insight into these issues, were solicited based on three open-ended questions relating to the desirability of automatic monitoring. Answers were examined through qualitative content analysis. Of the 179 experts contacted, 50 (28%) responded. Most of these experts favoured automatic monitoring, but specified clear conditions under which such systems should be implemented, including effective follow-up strategies, protecting the adolescents privacy and safeguarding their self-reliance. Follow-up strategies should focus on preventing future cyberbullying and empowering the parties involved. The majority of respondents suggested priorities for detection, including threats and the misuse of pictures. Despite generally positive opinions, several experts harboured doubts regarding desirability and feasibility. Appropriate follow-up strategies should be determined according to severity, and be tested for effectiveness. Future research should involve the views of adolescents and parents with regard to user desirability and prioritisation of cyberbullying detection, as well as views from social network providers.