Grey areas: a cross-country comparative study of user-generated hate speech, incivility and journalistic responsibility for online comments

Janto-Petnehazi, I. 2018. Grey areas: a cross-country comparative study of user-generated hate speech, incivility and journalistic responsibility for online comments. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster School of Media and Communication

TitleGrey areas: a cross-country comparative study of user-generated hate speech, incivility and journalistic responsibility for online comments
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsJanto-Petnehazi, I.
Abstract

This study is concerned with the issue of responsibility for comments. More specifically it is focused on situations where despite of site usage policies and the existing legislation, prohibited content such as hate speech and incivility does appear in the comments. The project consists of a comparative cross-country analysis of a sample of newspapers and comments from Hungary, Romania and the UK. Building on a content analysis of a sample of 16,972 comments collected from the sites of some of the main newspapers in the three countries, and interviews with journalists, this project examines the nature, extent, variations and contributing factors of user-generated hate speech and incivility across countries, newspapers, topics, and hate speech target groups. The research finds a similarity in hate discourse types across the sample and also in values of journalists regarding responsibility for comments. A significantly higher proportion of hate is found in Romania than the other two countries, which might be due to specific features of the media system. While the level of user-generated hate speech is lower in the UK and Hungary, the findings point to a gap in media policy that results in the presence of such content on the sites of newspapers from all three countries.

Year2018
File
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2018

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