Morales, E. (2023). Ecologies of violence on social media: An exploration of practices, contexts, and grammars of online harm. Social Media, 9(3), 1–10.
Open access: Yes
Notes: In this paper, I look at the violence young Colombians encounter in their everyday use of social media. I argue that we need to better understand the overlapping and fluid nature of violence on digital platforms. To do so, I propose an ecological reading of social media violence. I present an analytical framework composed of practices (how it is exercised), contexts (settings of creation, publication, and interpretation), and grammars (how it is organized in and across environments).
Abstract: Violence is an almost ubiquitous phenomenon in contemporary digital environments. In this context, there is a growing need to understand how violence is enacted and represented on social media. Drawing from a case study where Colombian young adults discussed the violence they interacted with on their everyday uses of digital platforms, this article explores how violence on social media is experienced and understood by users. Findings emphasize the need to look at violence on digital platforms as a multifaceted, fluid, overlapping, and interconnected phenomenon. In light of these results, I suggest framing current harmful practices as ecologies of violence. To better explore these ecologies, I outline three specific areas that highlight how violence is transformed on social media: practices, contexts, and grammars. Overall, this study emphasizes the need to recognize and address the complexity of violence in social media—a necessary step toward building cultures of peace in and outside of our digital environments.