Examining Malicious Online Comments from the Bystander Effect Perspective



Cyberbullying has become a social problem as malicious text messages and online comments among teenagers have increased in the late 2000s. Some serious reporting has attempted to impress on us the need to pay more attention to reducing malicious online content as a typical type of cyberbullying. Meanwhile, despite environmental changes that have made it easier to report perpetrators of such messages, it is often the case that the crime occurs in a public place and is tolerated. However, there is a growing tendency for people to exhibit the bystander effect, the problem of personal indifference to witnessing or knowing about crimes, but individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. This effect is rampant in the case of cybercrimes. This study aims to extract the motivations behind posting malicious comments through in-depth interviews and to suggest recommendations for relative issues by demonstrating how the bystander effect can be reduced using causal relationship diagrams of the system dynamics methodology. Hopefully, this work will contribute to a better understanding of factors that could cause a decrease in malicious online comments.


Ⅰ. Introduction
Ⅱ. Conceptual Background
2.1. Literature Review
2.2. Online Bystander Effect
Ⅲ. Research Methodology
3.1. In-depth Interviews
3.2. Research Analysis and Results
Ⅳ. System Dynamics
4.1. Results
Ⅴ. Discussion and Implications
5.1. Recommendations for Reducing Malicious Comments
5.2. Implications


  • Sodam Kim Post-doctoral Researcher, Graduate School of Information, Yonsei University, Korea
  • Sumeet Gupta Professor, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, India
  • So-Hyun Lee Associate Professor, School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China
  • Hee-Woong Kim Professor, Graduate School of Information, Yonsei University, Korea


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