This article draws on British newspaper reports in order to demonstrate that trolling, and the media’s subsequent framing of trolling, involves “silencing strategies.” It is important to examine how trolling is discussed within the media to understand how it might frame public opinion, debate, and action, and implicitly victim blame. The article presents findings on the forms of (online) abuse and behaviours related to trolling in media reports, including rape threats, death threats, and body shaming. It also explores the media portrayal of victims of trolling, and the advice given concerning how to respond to trolls. To comply with the message to women, which is propagated in media and popular discourses: “do not feed the troll” means that “symbolic violence” is exercised with the complicity of the victim(s) of trolling, which has broader implications.
- online abuse
- social media