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Title: The diffusion of social media : links with increased hate crimes against ethnic minorities in Asia
Authors: Bartholomeusz, Steven
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication
Social sciences::Mass media::Media effects
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Over the past five years, there has been a rapid increase in documented hate crimes against ethnic and religious minorities, and Asia is no exception. Governments in the region and other stakeholders are increasingly positing that this increase in hate crimes and racist behaviour is enabled by the rapid diffusion of social media. Fake news, deliberate falsehoods and violent racist propaganda on social media platforms have played a role in escalating religious and racial tension and violence in several Asian countries. In two recent incidents, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, where reports link social media enabled hate speech in prompting violence against Rohingya Muslims, and the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka, where hate speech against Muslims increased in the social media following the identification of the ethnicity of the suicide bombers, we see the ability of social media to disseminate hatred against minorities. With the growing interest to link hate speech propagated via social media as being implicit in inciting hate crimes, the objective of this study is to examine available literature and two incidents of anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, to identify if there is causality between the diffusion of social media and increased hate crimes. The review of 14 academic papers, reports of findings related to Myanmar and an analysis of over 750 Facebook and Twitter posts following the Easter Sunday terror attack in Sri Lanka, support a correlation between hate speech in the social media and hate crimes in Asia, but do not provide enough evidence of causation. Additionally, the study finds an increase in hate speech on social media following terror incidents. In this regard, it recommends that policy and lawmakers in Asia pay attention to events that are likely to spur hate speech on social media as hate speech can be a precursor to hate crimes.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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