Bystander experiences of online gendered hate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


The networked and often public nature of social media postings means that abusive missives (including those targeting a single individual) may be seen by many others. Absent from the burgeoning body of literature into gendered online hate are the experiences of women who, whilst peripheral to direct attacks, are nonetheless affected by them.

Hate crime scholarship has argued that hate crimes and hate speech send a message to both the target and their community: one that serves to terrorise and control those who share the target’s identity; to stake a claim to on- or offline territory as belonging to the perpetrator and their group; and to reinforce notions of acceptable and unacceptable identities. Similarly, feminist work into sexual violence has argued that fear of victimisation comes, in part, from knowing what other women have experienced.

Noting the importance of these ideas, this chapter examines how online misogynistic abuse affects bystanders. Drawing on empirical research, the chapter explores how online abuse does not have to be directly experienced in order to generate constraint, apprehension, fear, and control. More positively, indirect experiences may motivate bystanders to try to respond to and resist online misogyny.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Gendered Violence and Technology
EditorsAnastasia Powell, Asher Flynn, Lisa Sugiura
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Bystander experiences of online gendered hate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this