Individual factors predicting reactions to online harassment among Finnish professionals

Magdalena Celuch, Nina Savela, Reetta Oksa, Rita Latikka, Atte Oksanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Online harassment and hate are personally and societally harmful phenomenona many social media users experience every day. Based on social psychological approach to online harassment and theories of coping behaviors, we investigated how professionals who use the Internet in their work react to online harassment. We collected survey data from Finnish university employees (N = 2492) and local politicians (N = 510). We used logistic regression modeling for the analysis. According to the results, frequent social media use was associated with active reactions to online harassment in both samples. Among politicians, concerns about becoming a future online harassment victim was consistently associated with both standing up against the attackers and recommending others to do so. Higher scores for anxiety and belonging to social media identity bubbles were found to predict recommendations for active reactions in both samples. Several further sample-specific factors were also identified. The results demonstrate that psychological and behavioral factors, as well as individual differences, play a meaningful role in reactions to online harassment among professionals. These influencing factors are necessary to understand the dynamics of online harassment situations and their aftermath, and as such need to be considered in prevention and intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107022
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date11 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Online harassment
  • Online hate
  • Social media
  • Victimization
  • Work

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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