'Acting like 13 year old boys?': Exploring the discourse of online harassment and the diversity of harassers
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This thesis investigates the users behind online harassment of women, and broad patterns of behaviour online. The impetus behind this was to investigate taken-for-granted assumptions about who harassers are, what they do online, and how they do it. I highlight the discourse of online harassment of women in scholarship and online-news media, discussing the assumptions made about who is harassing and why. I discuss the lack of consideration of multi-layered harassment and argue for more research that takes into consideration the intersectionality of harassing content, and the experiences of all women online. My findings challenge many commonly made assumptions which I argue contribute to a discourse that homogenizes harassment and harassers, and overlook broader internet-specific behaviours. I discuss common strategies for dealing with online harassment, and identify problems with them. I provide a series of points that I believe should be considered in the development of future strategies, in order to better focus interventions to tackle online harassment.