Humour, Hate Crimes and British Radical Right Users on Twitter: A longitudinal Post-Brexit study

Lobanov, Nikita (2021) Humour, Hate Crimes and British Radical Right Users on Twitter: A longitudinal Post-Brexit study, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Traduzione, interpretazione e interculturalità, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9887.
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This dissertation explores the link between hate crimes that occurred in the United Kingdom in June 2017, June 2018 and June 2019 through the posts of a robust sample of Conservative and radical right users on Twitter. In order to avoid the traditional challenges of this kind of research, I adopted a four staged research protocol that enabled me to merge content produced by a group of randomly selected users to observe the phenomenon from different angles. I collected tweets from thirty Conservative/right wing accounts for each month of June over the three years with the help of programming languages such as Python and CygWin tools. I then examined the language of my data focussing on humorous content in order to reveal whether, and if so how, radical users online often use humour as a tool to spread their views in conditions of heightened disgust and wide-spread political instability. A reflection on humour as a moral occurrence, expanding on the works of Christie Davies as well as applying recent findings on the behavioural immune system on online data, offers new insights on the overlooked humorous nature of radical political discourse. An unorthodox take on the moral foundations pioneered by Jonathan Haidt enriched my understanding of the analysed material through the addition of a moral-based layer of enquiry to my more traditional content-based one. This convergence of theoretical, data driven and real life events constitutes a viable “collection of strategies” for academia, data scientists; NGO’s fighting hate crimes and the wider public alike. Bringing together the ideas of Davies, Haidt and others to my data, helps us to perceive humorous online content in terms of complex radical narratives that are all too often compressed into a single tweet.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lobanov, Nikita
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Hate crimes; humour; disgust; prevention
Data di discussione
19 Ottobre 2021

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