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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Doyle, L. (2022) Social Media and Harms: A Move to Criminalising Vulnerability of Digital World?

Doyle, Lauren (2022) Doyle, L. (2022) Social Media and Harms: A Move to Criminalising Vulnerability of Digital World? In: British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Reimagining Criminological Futures: New Criminologies in a Changing World, 29th June-1st July, 2022, University of Surrey.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The academic study of the vulnerability posed by the digital world remains an evolving interdisciplinary discussion. Within this, social media plays a significant role in daily communication and interconnectivity as a whole; providing a forum for networking inside [and outside] of the professional arena as well as a space for users to promote their livelihood and daily activity in verbal and imagery formats. Despite being designed with the positive aspects of globalized connectivity in mind, vulnerability can rear its head in a range of ways for those engaging with the digital world. This paper aims to broach existing research around the potential harms within social media engagement through a zemiological lens, by drawing upon early findings from an ongoing exploration into the impact that social media may pose on youth relationships with self-image and body confidence when engaging with online content related to topics such as diet culture and idealistic lifestyles/body types. We thematically juxtapose intended strategies within the Draft Online Safety Bill, currently being constructed by the UK Government, alongside a digital ethnographic dataset. The findings of this paper highlight the need for the ontological implications of a move to criminalizing online harms, under the current England and Wales criminal justice system, to be considered in more detail. This is achieved by critically evaluating the way in which such policies will tackle vulnerability posed to individual social media users. Thereby concluding that social media platforms remain unfit for the original purpose they were designed to fulfill as a communicative, networking tool.

Social Media & Harms.pdf
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Depositing User: Lauren Doyle


Item ID: 14936

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Lauren Doyle: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2022 17:04
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2022 17:04


Author: Lauren Doyle ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Criminology

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