Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of English
This dissertation explores content moderation as a form of resistance to online aggression and harassment, essentially asking the question “How do live streamers on Twitch address aggression through moderation?” Although much research in the fields of rhetoric and composition has addressed online aggression, platform affordances, and rhetorical resistance, Twitch—it’s rhetors, audiences, and communities—is understudied. Through the use of five case studies focusing on women, POC, and LGBTQ+ streamers, this dissertation examines streamer and community responses to aggression and highlights examples of unruly rhetoric (callouts, mockery, shame, jokes, etc.), which served to combat aggression, establish and reinforce community boundaries, and strip power from aggressors to the targeted. The second chapter establishes context for the aggressive behaviors occurring in the Twitch channels observed, offering a baseline of behavior. The third chapter presents case studies of four streamers and their channels to demonstrate different approaches and strategies for addressing online aggression. The fourth chapter examines a harassment campaign in which a platform affordance and (re)circulation of content was used to target a trans streamer. The concluding chapter encourages scholars and digital citizens to embrace unruly rhetoric and discusses possibilities for future research and ethical considerations.
London, Tab Marie, "Moderation as Resistance: A Study of Aggression and Response on Twitch.tv" (2021). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7372.
Northern Illinois University
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