Countering online hate speech through technological interventions

ESR6 Ina Weber, PhD Candidate at University of Antwerp
I research how to counter online hate speech through technological interventions.

Project Synopsis

Title: Countering online hate speech through technological interventions.

The spread of hate speech in digital spaces such as social media platforms and comment sections on news websites remains a significant problem and contributes to the polarisation of society and the normalisation of hate in online interactions. My PhD project takes a proactive approach to counter this problem by developing a technological intervention to prevent hate speech. This intervention shall complement existing ones, which are mostly aimed at bystanders or victims, by specifically addressing the perpetrators of online hate. In the first stage of the project, I have investigating risk factor that drive users to post hate speech. Building on these insights and input from co-design workshops, I will develop an intervention prototype. This prototype will be tested in regard to user acceptance and efficacy in lab and field studies and analysed from a human rights perspective. 

host institution

Prof. Heidi Vandebosch, University of Antwerp, cyberbullying, technological health interventions

Prof. Karolien Poels, University of Antwerp, persuasive technology, strategic communication

Dr. Sara Pabian, Tilburg University, online aggression, online persuasive communication


  • Weber, I., Vandebosch, H., Pabian, S., & Poels, K. (2022, October 24-28). Ask the experts: Applying the Delphi method to determine risk factors and create an ecological model of online hate perpetration [Conference Presentation]. ICA Annual Conference 2022, Paris, France,
  • Weber, I., Vandebosch, H., Pabian, S., & Poels, K. (2021, November 1-3). Discussing expert perspectives on technological interventions to prevent online aggression [Conference Presentation]. World Anti-Bullying Forum, Stockholm, Sweden,