Emerging Scholars Fellowship

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: What Active Minds and My Project Has Taught Me

Corey is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Corey and her fellow scholars here.

Wow, it’s already my last blog post.  Where did the time go?

It’s been a hectic semester of running around trying to get everything done, but I made it and my project is finally finished!  In the beginning of the semester, I originally hoped to prove the difference anonymity could have on cyber-bystanders and cyberbullying.  Unfortunately due to my small sample size, I was unable to definitively show that effect.  However, I found other interesting results that hadn’t anticipated.

One of my biggest hiccups in my project was transitioning platforms. Last semester I used an app called Rooms, which was a branch from its parent company Facebook.

rooms logogroup me logo

The Rooms app was unavailable this past semester so instead I used the app GroupMe.  Both were unique in their format and features, but were the most similar apps I could find.  However, there was one major difference in these two apps.  In GroupMe, users could “hide” posts and would then make the post invisible to the user but not to anyone else.  Whereas in Rooms, users could “report” an individual comment, post or chat room to an overall network server but would not disappear.

In the Rooms condition, more participants were inclined to report posts or comments than participants in the GroupMe condition.  This was interesting for me because I never imagined something as simple as word choice could make a huge impact on cyber-bystanders taking action in a cyber-bullying attack.

Although these results were not what I had originally hoped for, I’m excited to see where this research will take me in the future, and what this will mean for anonymous apps and their formatting.