Dominique Wirz @ Hot Politics Lab
October 7, 2022 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
In this session of the Hot Politics Lab, Dominique Wirz (Université de Fribourg) will give a talk titled “A hostile media effect? Subjective and objective exposure to hate speech in Switzerland”.
The talk will be followed by a Q&A, and everbody is welcome to join via Zoom: https://uva-live.zoom.us/j/96492065253 at 3pm (CET).
Abstract: Representative surveys in the EU show that around 40% of the population is often or very often confronted with hate speech on the internet. Despite the efforts of social media platforms and media companies to tackle this issue, the numbers have risen during the last years. However, there might be a gap between the definition of hate speech by the law or by academics – and thus what is deleted automatically or by human intervention – and what media users perceive as hate speech. We assume that the perception of messages as hate speech is biased as a function of the hostile media effect: Individuals who strongly identify with a societal group are more likely to perceive a comment as hostile towards their group. This perceived hostility elicits anger and thus a desire for punishment. We test these assumptions in a multi-methods study. First, we will conduct a representative survey of the Swiss population; participants will see examples of uncivil comments and rate how much they consider them to be hate speech and if they should be punished. Second, we will recruit a subgroup of participants who report to be exposed to hate speech at least several times a week for a mobile longitudinal linkage analysis study: Participants will make a screenshot of all comments they perceive as hate speech and upload them on a platform. We will then conduct a content analysis of these comments.