Understanding and contextualising racial hatred on the internet: a study of newsgroups and websites

Pollock, E.T., 2006. Understanding and contextualising racial hatred on the internet: a study of newsgroups and websites. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis builds upon the growing body of criminological literature in the field of racially motivated offending by embracing two key aims. Firstly, it aims to investigate the way in which Internet newsgroups create an enabling environment for the expression and development of on-line racial hatred and therefore endeavours to understand how newsgroups may be used to facilitate criminal and other harmful activity. Secondly, the study examines three newsgroups in depth and a number of Websites with an aim to understand their structure, organisation and dynamics as well as aspects of recruitment, dissemination of hate literature and the command and control of members. This thesis also places online bias, prejudice and hate speech within a social and historical context by arguing that the foundations for online hate speech did not merely arise with the development of the Internet in the 1970s but is bound up within an historical and social context that began some three and a half centuries ago during the Atlantic slave trade and hardly curtailing in the US and the UK until the 1960s.

Little evidence was found to suggest that the three newsgroups examined for this study are used for the dissemination of illegal words or behaviour or to facilitate activity that may pose a danger to community safety. However, the discourse could, potentially, create revulsion and distress amongst individuals and communities that are likely to disapprove of it. The methods by which biased, prejudiced and hateful viewpoints are expressed, depends largely upon the broad ideology of the particular newsgroup. In the main the newsgroup alt.politics.white-power hosted anti-Semitic discourse whilst alt.skinheads, although not institutionally anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi, did, in fact, display tenets of this nature and skinhead associates often used this newsgroup to promote Nazi affiliated merchandise and other such material. Contributors to alt.flame.niggers appeared to display the most ardent racist hate speech towards Black African Americans.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Pollock, E.T.
Date: 2006
ISBN: 9781369324655
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 23 Jun 2021 13:39
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 15:12
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/43169

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