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Book part
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Chara Bakalis and Julia Hornle

This chapter is about online hate speech propagated via platforms operated by social media companies (SMCs). It examines the options open to states in forcing SMCs to take…

Abstract

This chapter is about online hate speech propagated via platforms operated by social media companies (SMCs). It examines the options open to states in forcing SMCs to take responsibility for the hateful content that appears on their sites. It examines the technological and legal context for imposing legal obligations on SMCs, and analyses initiatives in Germany, the United Kingdom, the European Union and elsewhere. It argues that while SMCs can play a role in controlling online hate speech, there are limitations to what they can achieve.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-221-8

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Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2021

Allyson M. Lunny

Purpose – This chapter has three general purposes: to trace Canada’s hate speech laws from their policy inception to their current state; to identify the importance that…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter has three general purposes: to trace Canada’s hate speech laws from their policy inception to their current state; to identify the importance that media and mass communication have played in the creation and development of Canada’s hate speech laws; and to demonstrate the critical relationship that media has had to significant legal cases on hate speech. Methodology/Approach – This chapter historically maps the policy development of and legal challenges to Canada’s hate speech laws. It takes directed notice of the relationship of media and mass communication to the development and implementation of those laws. It engages with libertarian and egalitarian arguments on free speech throughout the chapter testing these ideas through an examination of the legal cases cited. Findings – Canadian legislators and courts have long grappled with the balancing of rights with respect to the issue of “hate speech.” Advances in mass communication technology have added intricate challenges to that legal balancing. Awareness of media’s allure to hatemongers and racial extremists and of media’s protean characteristics make regulation of its hateful content a continuous legal challenge. Canada’s greatest challenge yet to the regulation of hate speech will be its adaptive response to the growing phenomenon of online hate. Originality/Value – This chapter highlights the little recognized prescient statements made by the Cohen Committee about the allure of media and the dangers of its technological advancements in Canadian free speech debates. Providing a comprehensive survey of Canada’s “hate speech” laws, it recognizes the importance that advancements in mass communication have played in the creation and development of Canada’s “hate speech” laws.

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Media and Law: Between Free Speech and Censorship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-729-9

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Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2021

Tanner Mirrlees

Purpose – This chapter demonstrates the power that Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (or the “GAFAM”) exercise over platforms within society, highlights the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter demonstrates the power that Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (or the “GAFAM”) exercise over platforms within society, highlights the alt-right’s use of GAFAM sites and services as a platform for hate, and examines GAFAM’s establishment and use of hate content moderation apparatuses to de-platform alt-right users and delete hate content. Approach – Drawing upon a political economy of communications approach, this chapter demonstrates GAFAM’s power in society. It also undertakes a reading of GAFAM “terms of service agreements” and “community guidelines” documents to identify GAFAM hate content moderation apparatuses. Findings – GAFAM are among the most powerful platforms in the world, and their content moderation apparatuses are empowered by the US government’s cyber-libertarian approach to Internet law and regulation. GAFAM are defining hate speech, deciding what’s to be done about it, and censoring it. Value – This chapter probes GAFAM’s hate content moderation apparatuses for Internet platforms, and shows how GAFAM enable and constrain the alt-right’s hate speech on their platforms. It also reflexively assesses the politics of empowering GAFAM to de-platform the alt-right.

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Media and Law: Between Free Speech and Censorship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-729-9

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2020

Imane Guellil, Ahsan Adeel, Faical Azouaou, Sara Chennoufi, Hanene Maafi and Thinhinane Hamitouche

This paper aims to propose an approach for hate speech detection against politicians in Arabic community on social media (e.g. Youtube). In the literature, similar works…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose an approach for hate speech detection against politicians in Arabic community on social media (e.g. Youtube). In the literature, similar works have been presented for other languages such as English. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, not much work has been conducted in the Arabic language.

Design/methodology/approach

This approach uses both classical algorithms of classification and deep learning algorithms. For the classical algorithms, the authors use Gaussian NB (GNB), Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RF), SGD Classifier (SGD) and Linear SVC (LSVC). For the deep learning classification, four different algorithms (convolutional neural network (CNN), multilayer perceptron (MLP), long- or short-term memory (LSTM) and bi-directional long- or short-term memory (Bi-LSTM) are applied. For extracting features, the authors use both Word2vec and FastText with their two implementations, namely, Skip Gram (SG) and Continuous Bag of Word (CBOW).

Findings

Simulation results demonstrate the best performance of LSVC, BiLSTM and MLP achieving an accuracy up to 91%, when it is associated to SG model. The results are also shown that the classification that has been done on balanced corpus are more accurate than those done on unbalanced corpus.

Originality/value

The principal originality of this paper is to construct a new hate speech corpus (Arabic_fr_en) which was annotated by three different annotators. This corpus contains the three languages used by Arabic people being Arabic, French and English. For Arabic, the corpus contains both script Arabic and Arabizi (i.e. Arabic words written with Latin letters). Another originality is to rely on both shallow and deep leaning classification by using different model for extraction features such as Word2vec and FastText with their two implementation SG and CBOW.

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International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2019

Collins Udanor and Chinatu C. Anyanwu

Hate speech in recent times has become a troubling development. It has different meanings to different people in different cultures. The anonymity and ubiquity of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Hate speech in recent times has become a troubling development. It has different meanings to different people in different cultures. The anonymity and ubiquity of the social media provides a breeding ground for hate speech and makes combating it seems like a lost battle. However, what may constitute a hate speech in a cultural or religious neutral society may not be perceived as such in a polarized multi-cultural and multi-religious society like Nigeria. Defining hate speech, therefore, may be contextual. Hate speech in Nigeria may be perceived along ethnic, religious and political boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to check for the presence of hate speech in social media platforms like Twitter, and to what degree is hate speech permissible, if available? It also intends to find out what monitoring mechanisms the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have put in place to combat hate speech. Lexalytics is a term coined by the authors from the words lexical analytics for the purpose of opinion mining unstructured texts like tweets.

Design/methodology/approach

This research developed a Python software called polarized opinions sentiment analyzer (POSA), adopting an ego social network analytics technique in which an individual’s behavior is mined and described. POSA uses a customized Python N-Gram dictionary of local context-based terms that may be considered as hate terms. It then applied the Twitter API to stream tweets from popular and trending Nigerian Twitter handles in politics, ethnicity, religion, social activism, racism, etc., and filtered the tweets against the custom dictionary using unsupervised classification of the texts as either positive or negative sentiments. The outcome is visualized using tables, pie charts and word clouds. A similar implementation was also carried out using R-Studio codes and both results are compared and a t-test was applied to determine if there was a significant difference in the results. The research methodology can be classified as both qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative in terms of data classification, and quantitative in terms of being able to identify the results as either negative or positive from the computation of text to vector.

Findings

The findings from two sets of experiments on POSA and R are as follows: in the first experiment, the POSA software found that the Twitter handles analyzed contained between 33 and 55 percent hate contents, while the R results show hate contents ranging from 38 to 62 percent. Performing a t-test on both positive and negative scores for both POSA and R-studio, results reveal p-values of 0.389 and 0.289, respectively, on an α value of 0.05, implying that there is no significant difference in the results from POSA and R. During the second experiment performed on 11 local handles with 1,207 tweets, the authors deduce as follows: that the percentage of hate contents classified by POSA is 40 percent, while the percentage of hate contents classified by R is 51 percent. That the accuracy of hate speech classification predicted by POSA is 87 percent, while free speech is 86 percent. And the accuracy of hate speech classification predicted by R is 65 percent, while free speech is 74 percent. This study reveals that neither Twitter nor Facebook has an automated monitoring system for hate speech, and no benchmark is set to decide the level of hate contents allowed in a text. The monitoring is rather done by humans whose assessment is usually subjective and sometimes inconsistent.

Research limitations/implications

This study establishes the fact that hate speech is on the increase on social media. It also shows that hate mongers can actually be pinned down, with the contents of their messages. The POSA system can be used as a plug-in by Twitter to detect and stop hate speech on its platform. The study was limited to public Twitter handles only. N-grams are effective features for word-sense disambiguation, but when using N-grams, the feature vector could take on enormous proportions and in turn increasing sparsity of the feature vectors.

Practical implications

The findings of this study show that if urgent measures are not taken to combat hate speech there could be dare consequences, especially in highly polarized societies that are always heated up along religious and ethnic sentiments. On daily basis tempers are flaring in the social media over comments made by participants. This study has also demonstrated that it is possible to implement a technology that can track and terminate hate speech in a micro-blog like Twitter. This can also be extended to other social media platforms.

Social implications

This study will help to promote a more positive society, ensuring the social media is positively utilized to the benefit of mankind.

Originality/value

The findings can be used by social media companies to monitor user behaviors, and pin hate crimes to specific persons. Governments and law enforcement bodies can also use the POSA application to track down hate peddlers.

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Serkan Celik

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the opinions and perceptions of internet users regarding online hate speech, and bring cyberhate to the attention of internet…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the opinions and perceptions of internet users regarding online hate speech, and bring cyberhate to the attention of internet users and policy stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

A sectional research design and survey method was adopted throughout the study to examine the opinions and perceptions of internet users regarding cyberhate by descriptively exploring the existing situation from various perspectives. The participants of the study were determined by purposive sampling methods to attain maximum variety among internet users who are considered as highly literate in technology use. The data were collected through a personal data form and a survey (Cyberhate Perception Scale) from 372 internet users living in Turkey and the USA.

Findings

The findings of the study revealed that the majority of participants do not perceive cyberhate as a part of freedom of speech and they believe that online hate behaviors, which they also consider to be a violation of human rights, should be deemed illegal and be punished accordingly. The findings, which were discussed in line with the existing research, indicated some significant predictors of internet users’ perceptions on cyberhate.

Originality/value

As cyberhate is an understudied area that raises concerns in terms of internet user exposure, the objective of this research is to understand tendencies about the opinions and perceptions of internet users regarding online hate speech, and bring cyberhate to the attention of internet users and policy stakeholders.

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Information Technology & People, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Iftikhar Alam, Roshan Lal Raina and Faizia Siddiqui

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment, scrapped a draconian law [Section 66 (A)] that gave the police absolute power to put behind bars anybody who…

Abstract

Purpose

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment, scrapped a draconian law [Section 66 (A)] that gave the police absolute power to put behind bars anybody who was found posting offensive or annoying comments online. This paper aims to examine the take of people on the “Free Speech via Social Media” issue and their attitude towards the way sensitive messages/information are posted, shared and forwarded on social media, especially, Facebook.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was carried out on a sample of 200 social media users, all picked up randomly, from five Indian states/Union Territories. Data were collected through a questionnaire, and users were contacted through e-mail. Data collected were analyzed through the Kolmogorov–Smirnov (K-S) Z test.

Findings

The findings indicate that hate posts/messages are on the rise, and more and more users are joining in. Besides, prosecution happens only when the aggrieved party is influential or powerful.

Practical implications

The findings of this research give a strong insight into the social media behaviour of users in relation to hate contents/posts. The study establishes the fact that Indian people are in favour of free speech, but with a sense of restraint and responsibility. The work could form the basis for future research on various aspects of hate speech on social media. Researchers could study the trials and prosecutions that have happened over the past few years and whether punishment has acted as a deterrent.

Originality/value

The research is likely to be important for those involved in work on freedom of speech or hate speech through social media. Social networking sites such as Facebook would also get some insights into users’ perception towards free and hate speech mechanism on social media.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Jessica Johnson

On Inauguration Day 2017, Milo Yiannopoulos gave a talk sponsored by the University of Washington College Republicans entitled “Cyberbullying Isn’t Real.” This chapter is…

Abstract

On Inauguration Day 2017, Milo Yiannopoulos gave a talk sponsored by the University of Washington College Republicans entitled “Cyberbullying Isn’t Real.” This chapter is based on participant-observation conducted in the crowd outside the venue that night and analyzes the violence that occurs when the blurring of the boundaries between “free” and “hatespeech is enacted on the ground. This ethnographic examination rethinks relationships between law, bodies, and infrastructure as it considers debates over free speech on college campuses from the perspectives of legal and public policy, as well as those who supported and protested Yiannopoulos’s right to speak at the University of Washington. First, this analysis uses ethnographic research to critique the absolutist free speech argument presented by the legal scholars Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman. Second, this essay uses the theoretical work of Judith Butler and Sara Ahmed to make claims concerning relationships between speech, vulnerability, and violence. In so doing, this chapter argues that debates over free speech rights on college campuses need to be situated by processes of neoliberalization in higher education and reconsidered in light of the ways in which an absolutist position disproportionately protects certain people at the expense of certain others.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-058-0

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Book part
Publication date: 25 September 2014

Atte Oksanen, James Hawdon, Emma Holkeri, Matti Näsi and Pekka Räsänen

The prevalence of online hate material is a public concern, but few studies have analyzed the extent to which young people are exposed to such material. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

The prevalence of online hate material is a public concern, but few studies have analyzed the extent to which young people are exposed to such material. This study investigated the extent of exposure to and victimization by online hate material among young social media users.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyzed data collected from a sample of Finnish Facebook users (n = 723) between the ages of 15 and 18. Analytic strategies were based on descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.

Findings

A majority (67%) of respondents had been exposed to hate material online, with 21% having also fallen victim to such material. The online hate material primarily focused on sexual orientation, physical appearance, and ethnicity and was most widespread on Facebook and YouTube. Exposure to hate material was associated with high online activity, poor attachment to family, and physical offline victimization. Victims of the hate material engaged in high levels of online activity. Their attachment to family was weaker, and they were more likely to be unhappy. Online victimization was also associated with the physical offline victimization.

Social implications

While the online world has opened up countless opportunities to expand our experiences and social networks, it has also created new risks and threats. Psychosocial problems that young people confront offline overlap with their negative online experiences. When considering the risks of Internet usage, attention should be paid to the problems young people may encounter offline.

Originality

This study expands our knowledge about exposure to online hate material among users of the most popular social networking sites. It is the first study to take an in-depth look at the hate materials young people encounter online in terms of the sites where the material was located, how users found the site, the target of the hate material, and how disturbing users considered the material to be.

Details

Soul of Society: A Focus on the Lives of Children & Youth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-060-5

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Abstract

Details

The Citizen and the State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-040-1

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