Investigating the experience of viewing extreme real-world violence online: naturalistic evidence from an online discussion forum
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AbstractThis study investigates the psychological impact of viewing user-generated content depicting extreme real-world violence. Eight threads were harvested from publicly accessible online discussion forums in which people 17 discussed their experiences of witnessing real-world torture, maiming, or death online. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to systematically analyse these threads. The themes capture the contradictory ways in which people react to viewing extreme real-world violence online, with some finding it intensely distressing and others using it as a resource for psychological grounding or (perceived) strengthening. Based on this analysis, we highlight pathways that may lead to the cessation or continuation of viewing such content and argue that greater research on this seemingly common but under-studied experience is warranted.
CitationStubbs, J., Nicklin, L., Wilsdon, L. & LLoyd, J. (2022) Investigating the experience of viewing extreme real-world violence online: naturalistic evidence from an online discussion forum, New Media and Society
JournalNew Media and Society
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Sage in New Media and Society on 07/07/2022, available online: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/14614448221108451 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
SponsorsThis research was funded by an unrestricted gift from Facebook Foundational Integrity Research 2021. The funder had no input into or control over the research process or findings. The Authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/