708.1 Hate speech and the transformation of political organization in internet

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 12:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Ilkka ARMINEN , Network for Higher Education and Innovation, HEINE, University of Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland
Hate speech is any communication that disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religion.  It exists world-wide, and one of the terrains, where it is common, is Internet. It is not yet widely discussed whether and to what degree hate speech is connected to an alleged transformation of political organization through new social media. This paper has two-fold purposes. First, this is a case study on the use of language in web discussion on “immigration”, which is one of the issues that divides opinions sharply, and thus is prone to “hate speech”.  Second, the language use in the web is theoretically contextualized with the help an analysis of historical change of media. Applied conversation analysis (CA) is used for exploration of patterns of linguistic features of turns in an online debate. Data consists of blogs and online-comments of a debate related to an publishing of a newspaper article: ”Immigration is a good enemy”.  The analysis explores discursive features of online language, including denigrating categorizations, victimization, demonization, hostile humour, manipulation of joke/serious relationship, negative bonding and trolls. The aim is to articulate the critical characteristics of online hate speech, and subsequently discuss whether and to what degree the empirical observations fit to a theoretical understanding of the media change, including filtering, mass customization and shifts in the gate keeping. Ultimate goal is to check, refine and revise the contemporary understanding of the media change.