Discourse of Online Misogyny (DOOM)

In July 2013, after Caroline Criado-Perez successfully campaigned to have a woman appear on a UK banknote, she and a number of other prominent women were inundated with misogynistic abuse on Twitter. The abuse included instances of graphic, sadistic, and repeated threats of rape, murder, and torture.

DOOM (Discourses of Online Misogyny) is a project focussed on understanding these misogynistic threats, who makes them, how and why, but also on advancing research into threatening online behaviour by developing methods for revealing meaningful trends in large collections of online data. Of key importance is whether links can be observed between rape threats and other forms of threatening online behaviour/hate speech that may be otherwise undiscoverable without the implementation of corpus methods.

By delivering timely research on an issue of real contemporary importance, DOOM hopes to create research that provides direct benefits to – amongst others – academics, legislators, policymakers, and Twitter users.


Principal Investigator: Claire Hardaker twitter-logo-square-black

Senior Research Associate: Mark McGlashan twitter-logo-square-black

Read the latest updates on this project:

  • Wolves in the Wires: Online abuse from people to press (30 March 2015)

    During our ESRC Festival of Social Science “Language Matters: Communication, Culture, and Society” event, Claire Hardaker tells us about her research Discourse of Online Misogyny.

  • Twitter host CASS event: Twitter rape threats and the Discourse of Online Misogyny (27 November 2014)

    Twitter’s public policy team will tomorrow host an event organised by the Discourse of Online Misogyny (DOOM) project team at CASS. The team consists of Dr. Claire Hardaker, Lecturer in Corpus Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, and Mark McGlashan, Senior Research Associate on the DOOM project. The event assembles a number of …

  • Turning the tables on the stalkers (19 November 2014)

    On 13th November, I presented a talk at a joint Paladin/Collyer-Bristow event. Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service, assists high risk victims of stalking throughout England and Wales. Collyer Bristow’s Cyber Investigation Unit (CIU), which is headed up by partner Rhory Robertson, comprises a dedicated team of lawyers who advise victims of cyberstalking, cyber harassment, cyber bullying and internet trolls/trolling. The major discussion …

  • Discourses of Online Misogyny (9 June 2014)

    Indexing reporting and conversations about rape in online social media: India after the 2012 Delhi gang rape New partners: CASS, Lancaster University and Fields of View, India (Left to right: Onkar Hoysala, Fields of View; Mark McGlashan, CASS; Sruthi Krishnan, Fields of View) The reporting of incidents of rape of women by (typically groups of) men in …

  • Claire Hardaker to appear in “Blurred Lines” documentary on BBC2 (7 May 2014)

    “Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes” looks at contemporary attitudes to women and whether expressions of sexism and misogyny are on the rise. Dr Claire Hardaker appears roughly halfway through, and discusses whether misogyny becomes increasingly extreme online. During the segment, Hardaker considers the case of Caroline Criado-Perez, and two of her trolls …

  • New CASS Briefing. Researching online abuse: The case of trolling (17 January 2014)

    Researching online abuse: the case of trolling. Arguably, the biggest technological advancement in recent times is the internet Sadly, however, the internet also presents new opportunities to act maliciously. Increasingly worrying are offensive behaviours such as trolling and cyberbullying that involve individuals, and sometime whole groups, harassing others, sometimes for no other reason than to entertain themselves. Yet research into this subject is in short …

  • Two plead guilty over Twitter rape threats (8 January 2014)

    Trial Tuesday 7th January saw John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley plead guilty to sending messages “menacing” in nature to Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy via multiple Twitter accounts. In July 2013, Criado-Perez had been successful in campaigning for author Jane Austen to appear on the £10 bank note. Shortly after in final days …

  • CASS awarded £200,000 from landmark ESRC Urgency Grant Scheme (16 October 2013)

    CASS is delighted to announce a successful ESRC application for funding on a project entitled “Twitter rape threats and the discourse of online misogyny” (ES/L008874/1). The award of £191,245.25 was one of the first (possibly even the first) to be made as part of the ESRC’s new Urgency Grants scheme. Under this scheme, applications are …