Navigating the world of online harassment can be tricky, as one can get stuck on two questions: why do people do this and how can we fix it?

This list is intended to be a set of resources to help one understand the sociological phenomenon that is online harassment, what causes it, and helpful tactics to dispel misinformation.

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  • Tags (trolls, online harassment, gender, good examples, community guidelines)
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    See full list of recommended reads (50)

    Anyone can be a troll [study]

    • Study done on how mood and environment can turn anyone into a troll
    • Tags: trolls, online harassment, study

    Are sex differences in antisocial and prosocial Facebook use explained by narcissism and relational self-construal? [study]

    • Study done on gender and narcissm in toxic comments, shorter version: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/study-facebook-trolls-are-just-narcissist-men-with-internet-access_us_59babdede4b086432b05336d
    • Tags: trolls, online harassment, study, gender

    Gender differences and bias in open source: Pull request acceptance of women versus men [study]

    • Women are more likely to have their pull requests merged if they hide their gender
    • Tags: study, gender, open source

    Online Harassment 2017 [study]

    • Pew Research looks into online harassment
    • Tags: study, gender, online harassment, statistics

    Online Harassment, Defamation, and Hateful Speech: A Primer of the Legal Landscape [study]

    • A comprehensive look at laws in the US regarding online harassment, for non-lawyers
    • Tags: study, law, online harassment

    Pew Research on Online Harassment [study]

    • Statistics on who gets harassed along gender and age (not race, though)
    • Tags: study, gender, online harassment, statistics

    The Rhetorical Dynamics of Gender Harassment On-Line [study]

    • Study on gendered harassment in IRC channels in the 1990s
    • Tags: study, gender, online harassment, IRC, online communities

    You Can’t Stay Here: The Efficacy of Reddit’s 2015 Ban Examined Through Hate Speech [study]

    • Study on the efficacy of banning destructive behavior -- We find that the ban worked for Reddit. More accounts than expected discontinued using the site; those that stayed drastically decreased their hate speech usage—by at least 80%. Though many subreddits saw an influx of `r/fatpeoplehate` and `r/CoonTown` “migrants,” those subreddits saw no significant changes in hate speech usage. In other words, other subreddits did not inherit the problem.
    • Tags: study, online harassment, reddit, online communities, banning, hate speech

    Open Source Survey [study]

    • Open source survey on harassment, documentation, and licensing and how it affects open source contribution
    • Tags: study, online harassment, open source, online communities

    Community Interaction and Conflict on the Web [study]

    • Less than 1% of internet communities start 74% of conflicts [which then lead to] echo chambers... and cause long-term adverse affects and reduce activity [on online platforms]. This study also covers a predictive model for online conflict
    • Tags: study, online harassment, reddit

    Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead [book]

    • Autobiography of the leader of the Neo Nazi movement in the 1990s, this story follows what led to his descent into hate and what brought him back out
    • Tags: book, neo nazi, nazi, hate group, hate speech, good example, rehabilitation

    My descent into America's Neo Nazi Movement and How I Got Out [video]

    • TED talk of a Neo Nazi, this story follows what led to his descent into hate and what brought him back out
    • Tags: video, neo nazi, nazi, hate group, hate speech, good example, rehabilitation

    Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online [book]

    • In-depth look into the history of online harassment, the underlying causes of hate mobs, and how to contain it
    • Tags: book, online harassment, hate mobs, hate group, online communities, tech companies, tech

    The Internet of Garbage [book]

    • Insight into how online communities have become toxic waste dumping grounds and what role communities need to play in helping make sure their users are safe
    • Tags: book, online harassment, online communities, tech companies, tech

    Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy [book]

    • Practical tips to stay safe on the internet, for all genders
    • Tags: book, online harassment, privacy, gender, tech

    The Oatmeal: Backfire Effect [comic]

    • Webcomic exploring the backfire effect and why people have trouble believing facts they find threatening
    • Tags: comic, backfire effect, facts, rehabilitation

    The Aesthetics of the Alt-Right [article]

    • Long, in-depth analysis at the alt-right and fascist movement
    • Tags: article, alt right, alt-right, fascism, white supremacy

    Codes of Conduct: Maybe They're Not So Bad? [article]

    • Deconstruction of many of the arguments against OSS projects adopting codes of conduct
    • Tags: article, code of conduct, open source

    Dissecting Trump's Most Rabid Online Following [article]

    • Using machine learning to dissect what main interests unite Trump followers on Reddit
    • Tags: article, machine learning, reddit, trump, online communities, online harassment, hate mobs

    The Distress of the Privileged [article]

    • In-depth look into why tolerance of intolerance is not the same as oppression
    • Tags: article, tolerance of intolerance, oppression, privilege, diversity, fallacy, logical fallacies

    Explaining privilege to a broke white person [article]

    • Great primer on how to explain privilege and intersectionality
    • Tags: article, oppression, privilege, beginner, D&I 101, diversity, fallacy, logical fallacies

    How do you set metrics? [article]

    • Good section on building successful communities at Facebook by defining aspirations
    • Tags: article, online communities, metrics, facebook

    How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet [article]

    • Who are most likely to be trolls? (Spoiler alert: not bored teenagers in a basement!)
    • Tags: article, online communities, trolls, online harassment, time magazine

    The paradox of tolerance [article]

    • Explanation of why intolerance not being tolerated is not itself intolerant
    • Tags: article, online communities, tolerance of intolerance, oppression, online harassment, fallacy, logical fallacies

    The Real Name Fallacy [article]

    • Well-cited debunking of the idea that removing anonymity reduces online harrassment
    • Tags: article, online communities, online harassment, fallacy, logical fallacies

    The Secret Rules of the Internet: The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech [article]

    • Unpacking the tolls of content moderation, its effects on the people who do it, and evolving content moderation strategies
    • Tags: article, online communities, online harassment, moderation, mental health, free speech

    The Simple Psychological Trick to Political Persuasion [article]

    • Explores how to have difficult conversations with people about politics without them shutting down (useful for discussing social change and 'free speech' activists)
    • Tags: article, politics, difficult conversations, free speech, tips and tricks, D&I 101, beginner

    We can all help with Overwatch’s toxicity — but Blizzard must lead [article]

    • Discussing why 'players should watch their behavior' isn't enough. Companies must provide the resources for developers to build moderation tools in order to foster healthy communities
    • Tags: article, online communities, online harassment, blizzard, gaming, toxicity, moderation, tech, tech industry, responsibility

    Unpacking the invisible knapsack [article]

    • Great primer on understanding privilege because it's often difficult to see what others don't have if you take what you got for granted
    • Tags: article, diversity, D&I 101, beginner, tips and tricks, privilege, oppression

    The Polyannish Assumption [article]

    • Assuming that everything is mostly good but for some bad apples allow harassment to continue. A more realistic approach is believe humanity is capable of both good and bad.
    • Tags: article, online harassment

    This is How to Build a Troll-Free Online Community [article]

    • Good example of setting up community guidelines and enforcing them
    • Tags: article, online harassment, trolls, online community, good examples

    Anonymity and Abuse Reports [article, lessons learned]

    • A look at how Cloudflare reacted to allegations that they passed contact information from abuse reports to alt-right hate mobs
    • Tags: article, lessons learned, online harassment, trolls, online community, reactions, neo nazis, alt-right, alt right, hate mobs, hate group

    Why are you so angry? 'The Good Guy' [video]

    • Deconstructs why people become angry when there is a perceived attack on their identity (i.e. gamers feeling personally attacked by Anita Sarkeesian's analysis of sexism in games)
    • Tags: article, online harassment, trolls, online community, reactions, privilege, identity, good guy, D&I 101, beginner, attack, gaming

    Anti-Defamation League hate symbols database [resource]

    • Database of commonly used hate symbols
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, trolls, hate symbols, hate mob, hate group

    Crash Override Network [resource]

    • Crisis helpline and advocacy group for those experiencing online harassment
    • Tags: resource, online harassment,, help, crisis helpline, doxxing, hacked, advocacy, victims, stalking

    HackBlossom [resource]

    • Privacy resources for domestic abuse victims
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, help, privacy, domestic abuse, hacked, victims, stalking

    Undox.me [resource]

    • Helpful tools to take down nonconsensual nude photos
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, help, privacy, domestic abuse, hacked, victims, revenge porn, nonconsensual photos, photos, doxxing

    Staying Safe When You Say #MeToo [resource]

    • ACLU's guide to staying safe on the internet (longer version here: https://hypatia.ca/safety/
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, help, privacy, domestic abuse, victims, hacked, revenge porn, nonconsensual photos, photos, doxxing

    Stop datamining me [resource]

    • A directory of Opt-Out links to stop data brokers from selling your personal information
    • Tags: resource, help, privacy, victims, data

    Delete me [resource]

    • Commercial service if you get hacked
    • Tags: resource, help, privacy, victims, revenge porn, data, doxxing, hacked

    Speak Up & Stay Safe(r) [resource]

    • Feminist Frequency's guide to staying safe
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, help, privacy, domestic abuse, hacked, victims, photos, doxxing

    Engadget's community guidelines [resource, good example]

    • Excellent example of how other sites handle community guidelines
    • Tags: resource, good example, community guidelines, online community

    Pinterest's content moderation guide [resource, good example]

    • Visual representation of what content is and is not allowed on Pinterest
    • Tags: resource, good example, community guidelines, online community

    LinkedIn's Professional Community Policies [resource, good example]

    • Good definition of how to keep it professional
    • Tags: resource, good example, community guidelines, online community

    Technology Safety Resources [resource]

    • The Safety Net Project develops resources and information on the use of technology for agencies and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking.
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, help, privacy, domestic abuse, hacked, victims, photos, doxxing

    Facebook Community Standards [resource, good example]

    • List of what you can and cannot post on Facebook
    • Tags: resource, good example, community guidelines, online community

    Paying attention to toxic comments online [study, machine learning]

    • Stanford paper on how to detect and classify online abusive language
    • Tags: study, research, machine learning, stanford

    How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior [study]

    • Studying showing that the 'down vote' leads to less meaningful content over time. Positive feedback does not affect authors and ignoring them tends to make them go away. Summary article here: https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/data-mining-reveals-how-the-down-vote-leads-to-a-vicious-circle-of-negative-feedback-aad9d49da238
    • Tags: study, research, stanford, online community, trolls, statistics, user behavior, feedback

    Crossing the Line: What Counts as Online Harassment? [study]

    • Studying showing what Americans believe is online harassment along the lines of gender and race
    • Tags: study, research, online harassment, race, gender

    Alt right glossary [resource]

    • Glossary of commonly used symbols and terms used by the alt right
    • Tags: resource, online harassment, alt right,