University of Hertfordshire

A proposed typology of online hate crime

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)64-89
JournalOpen Access Journal of Forensic Psychology
Journal publication date1 Nov 2015
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Abstract

Hate offenders and those convicted of ?radical? or ?extremist? terror-related offences have a well-established presence online, and hate incidents which occur in the real world are increasingly being linked to online ?virtual? activities (INCAH, 2010). Building on psychological research and theory, in particular McDevitt, Levin, and Bennett (2002), and Gerstenfeld, Grant, and Chang (2003), this study has developed an original typology of online hate offending, dividing it into four distinct types of user: Browsers, Commentators, Activists, and Leaders. In a partial test of this typology, an online search was conducted for hate incidents relating to a single London borough over seven months. The search uncovered a wide variety of online incidents. Content and thematic analysis supported the division of the typology into four distinct superordinate themes. Amendments to the typology and recommendations are then discussed.

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