When engaged in vitriol through digital media, users harm their peers not only through the caustic nature of their words, but also by the way in which they can make their targets visible to public scrutiny. Social platforms and mobile devices enable individuals to author commentary about their targets, but also compel other types of actors to join in (or to contest, appropriate or derail) malicious exchanges. By focusing on highly visible yet comparatively mundane forms of denunciation in China, Russia and the United Kingdom, this chapter considers how vitriol can be manifest as a form of civic engagement. These cases provide insight about a more prevalent form of vigilantism that may be located at the margins of what is considered acceptable in their respective social contexts.

vigilantism, denunciation, digital media, social media, public space
dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789462989481, dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789462989481_ch01, hdl.handle.net/1765/134366
Department of Media and Communication

Trottier, D, Huang, Q, & Gabdulhakov, R. (2020). Mediated Visibility as Making Vitriol Meaningful. In Violence and Trolling on Social Media: History, Affect, and Effects of Online Vitriol. doi:10.5117/9789462989481_ch01