Research Workshop on Studying Anti-Social Behaviour Online


Timezone: PDT

On-Campus event

In person

Centre for Dialogue, 4th floor Sequoia Building, 2005 Sooke Road
Victoria BC V9B 5Y2

Attend online or in person

Register to attend online or in person at Royal Roads University. Registration is limited.

Workshop information

The rising tide of online anti-social behaviour has elevated public concern and skepticism over the perceived benefits and promise of social media in society.

A dark side of social media has emerged and remains evident today, with various countries, governing bodies, and citizens grappling with the impending normalization of aggressive behaviour, hostility, and negative discourse in online spaces.

At the individual level, anti-social behaviour on social media has real-life psychological and emotional consequences for everyday people that demand more precise attention and interventions from researchers, practitioners, social media platforms, and policymakers.

At the community and organizational level, anti-social behaviour can impact work performance and relationships, community ties, and lead to stress and burnout. At the societal level, there is also a concern that some forms of anti-social behaviour, such as hate speech, may galvanize xenophobic behaviour offline.

The research workshop will:

  • examine the factors influencing the manifestation and propagation of online anti-social behaviour
  • synthesize a multidisciplinary approach to study this phenomenon
  • develop a road map and a research agenda for future work in combating this dangerous trend

Tentative agenda

8:30 – 9  Morning coffee reception

9 – 9:15 Welcome remarks (Jaigris Hodson and President Philip Steenkamp, Royal Roads University)

9:15 – 9:30 Workshop overview (Philip Mai, Toronto Metropolitan University)

9:30-10 Data collection: observed data (Anatoliy Gruzd, Toronto Metropolitan University)

10:00-10:30 Data collection: self-reported data (Jenna Jacobson, Toronto Metropolitan University)

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 11:30 Data analysis: quantitative techniques such as Toxicity Analysis Social Network Analysis (Felipe Bonow Soares, Toronto Metropolitan University)

11:30 – 12 Data analysis: qualitative techniques (Jaigris Hodson, Royal Roads University)

12 – 1:30 Lunch break (Lunch will be provided courtesy of Royal Roads University)

1:30 – 2:15 Moderator or algorithm? (Caroline Haythornthwaite, Syracuse University) 

2:15 – 3 Data reporting: (Re)telling the stories (George Veletsianos, Royal Roads University) 

3 – 3:15 Break

3:15 – 4 Research agenda overview: Challenges & opportunities (K. Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University) 

4 – 4:15 Concluding remarks & adjournment


The event is organized by the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University and Royal Roads University. It’s supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Royal Roads University.