AbstractVictims of bullying are often reluctant to seek formal support and internalise their emotions, hindering recovery. Some will subsequently encounter discussions of bullying online, giving them an unexpected opportunity to share their feelings or experience vicarious support. In this article we investigate reactions to discussions of offline and online bullying in the comments posted to the YouTube channels of 34 popular UK female lifestyle influencers. We used a thematic analysis of keywords associated with comments mentioning bullying to identify bullying-related themes. The almost universally supportive comments position female YouTube influencer channels as sources of unexpected indirect support for victims that professionals may also recommend. The comments also reveal a previously undiscussed strategy for helping victims: abstraction. Commenters often seemed to depersonalise the issue to support the victim by setting their experience in the wider context of human behaviour. Commenters also supported victims by criticising bullies.
CitationThelwall, M. and Cash, S. (2021) Bullying discussions in UK female influencers’ YouTube comments, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 49:3, 480-493, DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2021.1901263
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2021.1901263 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/