A Chat With The Researcher Who Found Online Bystanders Won’t Stop Bullying


Kelly Dillon, a Doctoral Candidate at the Ohio State University School of Communication, found that people generally won’t act when they see someone bullied online. This news, while not surprising to anyone with a passing interest in technology, is worrying. In short, if you’re bullied online, don’t expect help.

I asked Dillon to clarify a few of her points including sample size and the generality of her research. More important, we talked a bit about how the study was conducted and what it really means to those of us who spend our time online.

TC: You studied a little over 200 students. What would happen if you increased the sample size?

Dillon: Scientifically, since I met the statistical threshold, we would expect the numbers to remain the same. I’m not certain of your comfort with statistical power, but these data would not have been published if I hadn’t…

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