Twitter, Incivility and “Everyday” Gendered Othering: An Analysis of Tweets Sent to UK Members of Parliament

Southern, RV ORCID: 0000-0002-5031-5428 and Harmer, Emily ORCID: 0000-0002-7842-4829
(2021) Twitter, Incivility and “Everyday” Gendered Othering: An Analysis of Tweets Sent to UK Members of Parliament. Social Science Computer Review, 39 (2). 259 - 275.

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Recently, widely reported studies assessed messages sent to UK female MPs online and concluded that they suffer high levels of abuse. However, these studies tended to focus on the most high-profile MPs and the worst instances of abuse or did not include male MPs in their study for comparison. This study aims to assess more subtle forms of incivility and othering and the experiences of less prominent MPs online. It takes a mixed-methods approach to analyzing 117,802 tweets sent to MPs overa 14-day period for evidence of incivility. Firstly, models assessing the factors associated with receiving incivility on Twitter are presented, and furthermore, an in-depth thematic analysis of gendered tweets is conducted. The findings suggest that for the receipt of certain types of incivility,there is little difference between female and male MPs. However, female MPs were more likely to receive generally uncivil tweets, tweets with stereotypes about their identity, and tweets questioning their position as politicians than male MPs. Qualitatively, in terms of gendered othering, we found several instances of tweets containing misogynistic abuse, tweets demonizing, and objectifying female MPs, as well as tweets feminizing male MPs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Twitter, incivility, gender, representation, othering
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 10:31
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2021 03:11
DOI: 10.1177/0894439319865519
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