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Title: Nameless, voiceless, and helpless: visual framing of distant outgroups in online humanitarian appeals
Authors: Yeoh, Ryna
Kim, Nuri
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Yeoh, R. & Kim, N. (2022). Nameless, voiceless, and helpless: visual framing of distant outgroups in online humanitarian appeals. Journal of Intercultural Studies.
Journal: Journal of Intercultural Studies 
Abstract: The current study examines how distant outgroups are portrayed in humanitarian appeals on a popular social media platform, YouTube. Social media is a growing platform for humanitarian organisations to spread messages about crises, as they can reach a wide audience in a quick and costless manner. Drawing from theories of visual framing and intergroup relations, this study analyses how organisations frame the outgroup beneficiaries in their online donation appeals. A quantitative content analysis was conducted to explore online humanitarian donation appeals, with a focus on the visual content used to portray outgroup beneficiaries. The study sampled 187 videos from 10 prominent humanitarian organisations’ YouTube channels. Findings indicate that while humanitarian organisations have largely moved away from an explicit rhetoric of frail, dying, and suffering subjects, subtle notions of helplessness are still prevalent. The narrative that outgroup beneficiaries are passive sufferers can hence be detrimental to intergroup relations.
ISSN: 0725-6868
DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2022.2107622
Schools: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information 
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis in Journal of Intercultural Studies on 05 Aug 2022, available online:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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