Threats of harm posted on Facebook: the viewing and response by friends

Hicks, Ronald H., author
Folkestad, James, advisor
Coke, Pamela, committee member
Kuk, Linda, committee member
McKelfresh, Dave, committee member
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This qualitative study explored how people define and respond to threatening language that is posted in Facebook. Basic Interpretive Qualitative Research was used to see how the 16 participants made meaning of threats that were posted in Facebook and how they responded to the posted threats. The data was collected through personal interviews with 16 traditional age college age men and women. The participants were asked a number of questions related to threatening language, including their personal definition as well as how they believed they would respond to threats and how they have responded to similar posts. The findings included how there is a large gap between how the user defines his or her friends and acquaintance as it relates to the electronic list of Facebook friends. How threats to social status was an identified fear via the use of Facebook. Threats were identified as directed toward others, and not toward oneself. The participants used Facebook for a variety of reasons ranging from academic, to social, to personal, but the use is in line with Facebook's mission, to connect people and not as much of a communication tool. Implications of this study may apply to threat assessment literature as well as working with bystander training.
2013 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
threats to self
threatening language
threats to others
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