Hatespeech increases after Terror in Paris

Some weeks ago we’ve set up some hatespeech queries using a common social media monitoring tool. We focused only on German posts and mentions. To use the appropriate search strings requires quite intimate cultural insights. We did not dare to stumble through a foreign language on a subject so sensible as this one.

Hence this is only a brief English version of the corresponding German article about our findings. The full German version is quite a bit longer and it contains diagrams. To read it please follow the flag in the top.

The Setup

We focused on the sources Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Forums.

We had 7 queries to catch hatespeeches against asylum seekers, blacks, Jews, Moslems, Roma people, Turks and foreigners (“Ausländer”) in general.

We searched by typical hatespeech words such as “Kümmeltürke”, “Judensau”, “Nigger” and the like.

Some findings

Over the last 4 weeks we found:

  • There are 800 – 900 hatespeech-posts per week. The absolute number however is by no means representative. Every new search string produces new results.
  • Among the results are about 45% posts which are no real hatespeeches. Some Turks for instance call themselves “Kümmeltürke” as some kind of a joke. Quotes of hatespeeches are among our findings too. And articles like this one as well. These and a some other types do not represent true hatespeeches.
  • The majority of the hatespeeches is on Twitter, not on Facebook. Actually the Twitter volume is nearly three times as big as the Facebook volume. But we have only about 1 million Twitter users in Germany compared to 30 million Facebook users.
  • The majority of the hatespeeches is against Moslems, Roma people are target no. 2. Turks and asyl seekers are rather a minor target.
  • The attacks of November 13th in Paris brought a sharp increase of hatespeeches – but only against Moslems.

Next Steps

We plan to go on for a while with this subject and produce some more results. Especially the ratio true vs. false hatespeech seems worth to be considered in more detail.

There is strange meta finding with this issue however: Nobody wants to be quoted or referred to a topic like this. Of course: We use quite a lot of really bad words. They are far from political correctness. Some machine-like checkpoints and control-bots might detect this and put the article and everything in relation to it on an index – bad reputation management.

So maybe we are soon turned off by the provider of the monitoring tool or even by somebody else – we’ll see. Stay tuned!

And as always: any serious comment on this is absolutely welcome!