Turds, traitors and tossers : the abuse of UK MPs via Twitter

Ward, SJ and Mcloughlin, L 2020, 'Turds, traitors and tossers : the abuse of UK MPs via Twitter' , The Journal of Legislative Studies, 26 (1) , pp. 47-73.

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There has been growing public attention around the abuse of MPs online including criminal convictions for violent threats, regular coverage of racist and misogynistic language directed at representatives. Yet, the extent of the problem and patterns of abuse remain relatively under-researched. So far, much of coverage of the problem is anecdotal or based on self-reporting from MPs. This research sets out to provide a more rigorous benchmark measure of abuse. It also examines targets and triggers for social media abuse – how far is abuse connected to contentious debates such as Brexit or targeted at specific groups of MPs (e.g. female representatives)? Our results indicate that whilst the overall volume of abuse appears low, social media abuse has become ubiquitous and is highly public. Furthermore, whilst some abuse is undoubtedly targeted and gendered, the biggest proportion of abuse follows a reactive response to political discussions and public interventions of MPs.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Legislative Studies
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1357-2334
Related URLs:
Depositing User: SJ Ward
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 07:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:18
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/47069

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