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 (45)

    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