From self-expression to social aggression: Cyberbullying culture among South African youth on Facebook

Social media platforms propagate a culture of self-expression by empowering individuals to create, control and broadcast own content. Social networking sites are particularly popular tools for the youth's self-expressive practices; hence, the concerns about how these tools are used, and their i...

Full description

Published in: Communicatio Vol. 41; no. 3; pp. 302 - 319
Main Authors: Rachoene, Matjorie, Oyedemi, Toks
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: South Africa Routledge 07-03-2015
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Subjects:
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: Social media platforms propagate a culture of self-expression by empowering individuals to create, control and broadcast own content. Social networking sites are particularly popular tools for the youth's self-expressive practices; hence, the concerns about how these tools are used, and their implications for culture and sociability. One of these concerns is the culture of cyberbullying. This study examines online bullying among South African youth on Facebook. A pattern of cyberbullying among the youth was identified through a non-participatory digital ethnography that involved daily observations and a study of postings and comments on six Facebook pages that university students and township youth subscribed to. The study revealed that attacks on intelligence and physical appearance, sexting and outing, insults and threats are common bullying types. However, sexting and outing with the use of sexually explicit pictures is very common among this population. In a digital culture where privacy is becoming more lax and visibility embedded in a self-expressive culture is celebrated, there is a concern about the consequences of this culture, particularly for the victims of cyberbullying.
ISSN: 0250-0167
1753-5379
DOI: 10.1080/02500167.2015.1093325