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Completed project

Online debate cultures: A study of participants in polarised debates

Project period December 2018 - September 2019
Project employer Barne-, ungdoms- og familiedirektoratet (Bufdir)
Project nr. 10347
Project leader Marjan Nadim
picture of man with computer

Photo: Ramy Mans.

Project Background

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. 

Project Aim

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.

Project Approach

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:

  1. a qualitative study of participants in polarized debates
  2. survey analysis of data about people who report to have written harassing, racist or hateful comments online. 


Audun Fladmoe PhD Senior Research Fellow +47 924 82 023 Send e-mail
Marjan Nadim PhD Research Professor +47 916 09 108 Send e-mail
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud PhD Research Professor +47 951 09 236 Send e-mail
Tags: Digitalization, Elections and Democracy
Published Nov. 22, 2018 11:34 AM - Last modified Nov. 2, 2020 11:08 AM