Uncovering Online Commenting Culture

Trolls, Fanboys and Lurkers

  • Renee Barnes

About this book


“Barnes leads us on a rich journey of exploration into media sociology, psychology, cybercultural, game and fan studies accounts of why and how we comment on media content. This work will be invaluable to anyone hoping to develop more civil communities online.”
–Fiona Martin, The University of Sydney, Australia

In today’s digital world our social interactions often take place in the form of written comments. We chat, disagree, worship, vent, confess, and even attack in written form in public digital spaces. Drawing on scholarly literature from media and cultural studies, psychology and sociology, Uncovering Commenting Culture charts this commenting territory and outlines why we behave in these ways online. In this timely book, Renee Barnes provides a participatory model for understanding commenting culture that is based on the premise that our behaviours online – including those that cause us most the concern – are not so much an internet problem as a social problem. By looking at a wide variety of online commenting habitats, from the comment threads following news stories, through to specialist forums and social media platforms, the volume provides a comprehensive understanding of the role of online commenting in society and provides suggestions for how we might mitigate bad behaviours.


digital online commenting media internet trolls websites social media news networks online behaviour

Authors and affiliations

  • Renee Barnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, Business and LawUniversity of the Sunshine CoastSippy Downs, QLDAustralia

Bibliographic information