‘Friends call me racist’: Experiences of repercussions from writing comments on newspaper websites

Anders Sundnes Løvlie, Karoline Andrea Ihlebæk, Anders Olof Larsson

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Based on a survey among contributors to the online comments sections of four Norwegian newspapers, we investigate the following research question: How do contributors describe their experiences of repercussions from writing comments on newspaper websites? Employing quantitative and qualitative analyses, we explore the influence of four variables: gender, anonymity, attitudes toward editorial policies and issue controversy. We find no influence from gender. However, regarding attitudes we find that the experience of repercussions is particularly prevalent among those who oppose strict editorial control with regard to reader comments, as well as among respondents who write comments on a radical right-wing website. Studying free-form answers which describe incidents of repercussions experienced by the respondents we find no sign of gender differences, but rather a strong dominance of statements related to issue controversies, and particularly regarding immigration and Islam.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018


  • audience participation
  • harassment
  • journalism
  • online comments
  • repercussions
  • user experience


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