Hate speech in polarized political controversies – communicative dynamics and prospects of prevention

ESR15 Vladimir Bojarskich, PhD Candidate at University of Jena
I study the role of political ideology in people’s engagement with online hate speech.

Project Synopsis

Title: Hate speech in polarized political controversies – communicative dynamics and prospects of prevention.

Hate speech is profoundly linked to politics and ideology. For instance, hate speech frequently targets politically salient and/or marginalized groups, rises in response to sociopolitical events, and is more prevalent in political compared to nonpolitical online discussions. Relatedly, political ideology serves to make sense of politically relevant events and influences how people think of social groups, their status and values. As such, understanding the association between people’s political ideology and their evaluation and perpetration of online hate speech seems integral to understanding its causes and remedies. The aim of this project is, therefore, to identify and examine the ideological underpinnings and communicative dynamics through which online hate speech on politically contentious issues emerges and to identify possible interventions. For that purpose, we will 1) systematically review existing research on the link between individuals’ political ideology and online hate speech, 2) experimentally examine if and how progressives and conservatives differ in their condemnation and legitimization of online hate speech towards different outgroups, and 3) design and test an intervention aimed at mitigating hate speech in ideology-driven controversies. 


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


Bojarskich, V.  & Rothmund, T. (2022, November 10-12). A scoping review on the relationship between political ideology and online hatred [Conference Presentation]. Workshop of Aggression, Jena, Germany, http://www.woa.uni-jena.de/