Online hate speech: contents, networks and effects on hate crime

ESR10 Laura Dellagiacoma, PhD Candidate at Institute for Democracy and Civil Society
I explore online hate speech: contents, networks and effects on hate crime.

Project Synopsis

Title: Online hate speech: contents, networks and effects on hate crime

While the interest of researchers and policy-makers towards online hate speech is growing, its impact on the offline world is still to be assessed. In fact, most research has been focusing either on online hate speech or on hate crime, letting the questions on their potential links unanswered. Few articles have so far investigated both phenomena and they reached different conclusions (see Williams et al., 2020; Wiedlitzka et al, 2021). A systematic literature will be conducted to shed light on how online hate speech and hate crime are related and under which socio-economic and political circumstances the relation becomes stronger. The review will provide an overview of scientific evidence and of most frequent methods and theories, identifying consolidated knowledge and gaps. Drawing on the results, a theoretical model will be developed to conceptualize the influential mechanisms between online hate speech and hate crime. A comprehensive approach will be adopted to proceed from the micro to the macro level without simplifying the structural and cultural processes of racism and social inequality. Lastly, the model will be tested in an empirical study with data from social media, police records and civil society organizations. Results will not only contribute to the academic literature, but also inform policy-makers on how to act against the spreading of hate both in the online and offline worlds.


Prof. Tobias Rothmund, University of Jena, political psychology, disinformation interventions and social justice concerns

Dr. Daniel Geschke, IDZ Jena, hate crime, hate speech, prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination, radicalization