The Five Ws of Bullying

A recent paper in Computers in Human Behavior explores the utility of machine learning methods for understanding bullying, a significant social-psychological issue in the United States, through social media data. Machine learning methods were applied to all public mentions of bullying on Twitter between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2013 to extract the posts that referred to discrete bullying episodes (N = 9,764,583) to address five key questions. Most posts were authored by victims and reporters and referred to general forms of bullying. Posts frequently reflected self-disclosure about personal involvement in bullying. The number of posts that originated from a state was positively associated with the state population size; the timing of the posts reveal that more posts were made on weekdays than on Saturdays and more posts were made during the evening compared to daytime hours. Potential benefits of merging social science and computer science methods to enhance the study of bullying are discussed.

For the abstract


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