Online debate cultures: A study of participants in polarised debates
While Internet and social media have led to a democratization of the public debate, where ordinary people have access to express themselves freely, there is a growing concern for the harsh and hateful online communication styles.
The aim of this project is to produce more knowledge about what drives some people to express themselves in ways that can be perceived as hateful online, and we will examine how participants in polarized debates explain and legitimize their mode of communication.
The project examines different types of online participants, from those who have an explicit ideological motivation to those who “simply” get carried away in polarized debates.
We employ a two-fold methodological approach based on:
- a qualitative study of participants in polarized debates
- survey analysis of data about people who report to have written harassing, racist or hateful comments online.