Updates in Hate Scholarship: Does the Internet Make Us More Hateful?

The internet allows us to communicate in more negative ways–and the fact that we’re online so much means that verbal abuse is a constant threat, according to the British report Abusive and Offensive Online Communication: Summary of Scoping Report. 

You might think that when folks aren’t anonymous on the internet, they’d keep quieter about their racism. That’s not quite the case–but the good news is that others use social media to speak up against hate. That is the argument that Irfan Chaudhry and Anatoliy Gruzd make in “Expressing and Challenging Racist Discourse on Facebook: How Social Media Weaken the ‘Spiral of Silence’ Theory,” published in Policy & Internet. 

But the relationship between social media and racist behavior may not be clear, according to Abdallah Alsaad, Abdallah Taamneh, and Mohamad Noor Al-Jedaiah in “Does Social Media Increase Racist Behavior? An Examination of Confirmation Bias Theory,” Technology in Society(2018).

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