University of Colorado Boulder: When celebrities die, ‘grief policing’ abounds, social media gets toxic

University of Colorado Boulder: When celebrities die, ‘grief policing’ abounds, social media gets toxic. “After the deaths of David Bowie, Prince and actor Alan Rickman in 2016, grieving fans flocked to public comment threads on social media to pay their respects in what has been likened to a virtual wake. But many also arrived to find a toxic space where so-called ‘grief police’ mocked them for lamenting the loss of a stranger, chastised them for emotional rubber-necking or even dissed the dead. That’s the key finding of a study published this week by CU Boulder researchers who analyzed more than 7,000 Facebook comments to gain insight into how people mourn death in the internet age. Their conclusion: People are surprisingly mean to each other online even in times of tragedy, but some technological fixes could likely make things better.”

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