BullyBlocker: toward an interdisciplinary approach to identify cyberbullying

Yasin Silva, Deborah Hall, Christopher Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cyberbullying is the deliberate use of online digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. It is the most common online risk for adolescents, yet well over half of young people do not tell their parents when it occurs. While there have been many studies about the nature and prevalence of cyberbullying, there have been relatively few in the area of automated identification of cyberbullying that integrate findings from computer science and psychology. The goal of our work is thus to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to develop an automated model for identifying and measuring the degree of cyberbullying in social networking sites, and a Facebook app, built on this model, that notifies parents about the likelihood that their adolescent is a cyberbullying victim. This paper describes the challenges associated with building a computer model for cyberbullying identification, presents key results from psychology research that can be used to inform such a model, introduces a holistic model and mobile app design for cyberbullying identification, presents a novel evaluation framework for assessing the effectiveness of the identification model, and highlights crucial areas of future work. Importantly, the proposed model—which can be applied to other social networking sites—is the first that we know of to bridge computer science and psychology to address this timely problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalSocial Network Analysis and Mining
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Automated identification
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyberbullying factors
  • Facebook
  • Psychology
  • Social networks
  • Vulnerability factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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