Notoriously Toxic


The Notoriously Toxic Project gathered scholars and practitioners to explore online communication’s frequently hateful, toxic and harassing speech. This 10-person group, representing disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and media industries, will focus on toxicity in the text-based chat systems of online games.  Via a one-year collaboration and a two-day working group meeting of scholars from English, Linguistics, Law, Psychology, Education, Game Studies, and Justice Studies in consultation with industry experts from game development will yield a white-paper on, 1) best practices for studying and moderating toxicity, 2) conceptual and legal frameworks for addressing hate speech, dangerous speech, and toxic speech, 3) patterns of toxic language in online media, 4) next steps for building a reference corpus of toxicity types and a descriptive taxonomy, and 5) a humanistic perspective on consequences of toxicity and its moderation procedures.  Practical anonymity in online communication has changed standards for interpersonal language; this project documents the most damaging of those changes.




Benesch, Susan. Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of International Service, and Director of the Dangerous Speech Project, American University.

van den Bosch, Antal.  Professor of Communication and Information Studies and Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen. 

Consalvo, Mia. Professor and Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design, Director of the mLab, Concordia University.

Gray, Kishonna Leah.  Assistant Professor in the School of Justice Studies, Founder and Director of the Critical Gaming Lab, Eastern Kentucky University.

Harper, Todd. Visiting Lecturer at the Simulation and Digital Entertainment Program, University of Baltimore.

Jenson, Jennifer.  Professor of Pedagogy and Technology in the Faculty of Education, Director of the Institute for Research on Digital Learning, York University.

Kunzelman, Cameron.  Doctoral Fellow, Communication, Georgia State University.

Lin, Jeffrey. Lead Designer of Social Systems, Riot Games.

Miller, Ben. Assistant Professor of English and Communication, Co-Director of New and Emerging Media Initiative, Georgia State University.

Pavlas, Davin.  Human Factors Psychologist & Game Researcher, Riot Games.

Subtirelu, Nicholas.  Doctoral Fellow, Applied Linguistics, Georgia State University.