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About City

Carolina Are

Department: Sociology

Email: Carolina.Are@city.ac.uk

PhD Title: Flaming Isn’t Funny: Patterns Towards The Understanding Twitter Abusers


  • University of Sydney – Master in Criminology (2016-2017)
  • City University, London – BA Journalism (2011-2014)
  • Liceo Classico Antonio Gramsci, Olbia, Italy (2007-2011)

Research topic

Social media has been described as “the new public square”, a space where professional and personal interactions now constantly take place, as well as a political tool for expressing dissent, campaigning or a new ‘meeting room’ for social unrest, having played a crucial role in the London Riots of 2011 or in Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. Yet, following escalating social media attacks on celebrities and private users, it appears that social networks have also become a space where one can attack, threaten and offend others almost unpunished. It therefore becomes increasingly important for social networks to be a safe space where users do not feel threatened by others.

The following research proposal sets out to conduct a content analysis on posts shared on the social network Twitter in order to understand the circumstances in which a number of its active users engage in ‘trolling’, often described as the main threat to a healthy internet discourse.

Leading with Twitter’s position as a social network which currently appears to have a trolling problem,  the paper originating from this proposal will attempt to draw up a profile of social media trolls gathering information from the content they shared.


Eugene McLaughlin

Research Interests

  • Cyber law
  • Social media law
  • Law
  • Social networks
  • Twitter
  • Social media research ethics
  • Freedom of expression
  • Censorship



  • Introduction to Criminal Justice, Spring 2018 (Criminology/Sociology)
  • Key Issues in Criminology, Autumn 2018 (Criminology/Sociology)
  • Online and Social Media Journalism, Spring 2019 (Journalism)