Academics’ Experiences of Intrusion, Cruelty, Abuse, and Intimidation Online
A myriad of articles and op-eds encourage academics to be more active online. They generally argue that there are many benefits in doing so, including enabling faculty and students to network with colleagues, share their research, and conduct public scholarship. Dr. Driscoll’s excellent keynote talk at the 2017 AECT annual conference for instance encouraged and promoted public scholarship. Often such advice is very good.
However, increasing concerns are brewing over the incivility, harassment, and vitriol that faculty encounter on social media. The potential of social media being used for harm and abuse needs to be factored into any expectations placed on social media uptake in higher education. In this presentation, I will discuss experiences of intrusion, cruelty, abuse, and intimidation that women academics have faced online. This presentation is grounded on fifteen interviews with female scholars who have face harassment online. These experiences suggest wide-ranging implications for individual scholars, faculty developers, centers for teaching and learning, the design of online platforms and algorithms, and expectations around scholars’ online participation.