YDME: Transgression, Trolling, and Cyberbullying at Home and in the Classroom


There has been increased interest in exploring the phenomenon of cyberbullying in the wake of several high-profile cases. This panel will examine the relationship between online and offline transgressive behavior within classroom, social, and online networks. Participants will discuss how conceptual and web-design structures, as well as particular forms of internal and external moderation, can limit, redirect, and in some cases productively shape unexpected behavior through digital media and online work into learning opportunities. The panel comprises four strands of discussion:

Relational Aggression Among Children and Teens Online: Renee Hobbs is the founder of the Media Education Lab at Temple University and creator of My Pop Studio, an interactive website designed to offer media literacy lessons in media production and analysis for classroom and recreational use. She will present a qualitative analysis of relational aggression between online commenters at My Pop Studio (http://www.mypopstudio.com) and will discuss implications for moderation styles in “child-friendly” online spaces that engage with occasionally provocative media material.

Asking Questions of Provocative Media in the Classroom: David Cooper Moore is the Program Director and Curriculum Developer of Powerful Voices for Kids, a collaboration between Temple University and the urban elementary Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia. In his discussion, he will explore the use of provocative media materials in the course of media literacy instruction in a one-month summer enrichment program, and specifically focus on the role educators have in moderating and shaping delicate classroom conversations about mass media and popular culture.

The Power of Positive Trolling: Tom Ewing is a UK-based market researcher and influential online music critic who has written extensively about the role of different moderation styles in online communities. He will discuss his own observations on the potential of online community moderation and “positive trolling”—drawn from his years of experience as the founder of popular music discussion forums I Love Music and FreakyTrigger—into other online community models.

Taking Cyberbullying Offline: Nuala Cabral is a media literacy educator based in Philadelphia who has worked with the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush to explore the topic of online communication and cyberbullying with Philadelphia teenagers through collaborative research, performance, and multimedia activities. Her work frames bullying as a complex interaction between lived social experiences offline and corresponding hostile behavior online. She will discuss the potential and difficulties of dealing with cyberbullying by focusing on in-school social relationships and positive media production activities.