Race And Online Hate: Exploring The Relationship Between Race And The Likelihood Of Exposure To Hate Material Online

This research examines the relationship between race and exposure to online hate material. The utilization of websites, weblogs, newsgroups, online games, radio broadcasts, online newsletters and a myriad of other online platforms has proliferated race-based hate groups in the US (Shafer 2002). According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the number of hate groups has been on the rise since the 1990s and continues to gain momentum with the advent of social media (Potok 2017). Exposure to separatist ideologies has propelled these radical rightwing groups into the mainstream by way of social media platforms, as they are “the most active producers of online hate material” (Costello, Hawdon, Ratliff, and Grantham 2016: pg. 313). That dissemination of radical rightwing ideologies, such as white supremacy, racial purity, and racial solidarity, exists is not enough in understanding what individuals are exposed to race-based hate ideologies in online platforms. Exposure is the key to understanding the growth of these race-based hate groups and ways of countering the efforts to disseminate radical rightwing ideologies due to its relationship to hate group emergence and persistence. More so, understanding how these groups target individuals and recruit through social networking sites can provide insight into exposure. Exposure to hate material aids groups in recruiting new members and victimizing potential targets. In the same manner, exposure to hate material is victimization of those who are exposed. In a sample collected by Costello et al. (2016a), of those exposed to hate material online nearly half centered on race. Thus, it is tantamount that research is conducted examining the role that race plays in determining who is exposed to hate material online, and how individuals react to hate material based on race. This dissertation will examine the importance of exposure to hate. Specifically, this dissertation will analyze survey data gathered from the Online Extremism Survey using logistic regression analysis and linear regression to understand exposure to hate material online and routine activity theory.

Tags: Hate Speech, Online, Race