Project Overview

The Notoriously Toxic Project gathers scholars and practitioners to explore online communication’s frequently hateful, toxic and harassing speech. This 10-person group, representing disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and media industries, will focus on toxicity in the text-based chat systems of online games. Via a one-year collaboration and a two-day working group meeting of scholars from English, Linguistics, Law, Psychology, Education, Game Studies, and Justice Studies in consultation with industry experts from game development will yield a white-paper on, 1) best practices for studying and moderating toxicity, 2) conceptual and legal frameworks for addressing hate speech, dangerous speech, and toxic speech, 3) patterns of toxic language in online media, 4) next steps for building a reference corpus of toxicity types and a descriptive taxonomy, and 5) a humanistic perspective on consequences of toxicity and its moderation procedures. Practical anonymity in online communication has changed standards for interpersonal language; this project documents the most damaging of those changes.