Changes in the discourse of online hate blogs: The effect of Barack Obama's election in 2008

Shlomi Sela, Tsvi Kuflik, Gustavo S. Mesch

Abstract


This study examines the narrative strategies that the blogs of hate groups adopted before and after a central political event, namely, the 2008 election of President Obama in the U.S. Using data from a large number of hate blogs (N=600), and sentiment analysis and data mining, we tested two alternative hypotheses derived from social identification theory. We found that there were major differences between the content of these blogs before the election and immediately after the 2008 election, with the latter evincing an increase in the advocacy of violence and hostility. We also determined that faced with this new change, the hate groups adopted a social competition strategy rather than a creativity strategy to manage their identity. Our findings imply that since the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President, the worldview of online hate groups has become more violent. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords


blogs, sentiment analysis, data mining

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v17i11.4154



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