Until recently, research on the impact and harms of online abuse toward LGB+ individuals have received scant attention. However, this emergent field appears to be gaining more traction as of late and this project hopes to be an insightful and timely contribution to this changing landscape.
Social media has expanded and transformed society; it has allowed conventionally ‘hard-to-hear’ minority voices gain power and enter mainstream online debate. However, this increased level of exposure comes with a greater risk to the LGBT community; with content published online having the potential to impact suffering beyond the virtual space. Combine this with the fact that a significant amount of hate has migrated to the internet, it is imperative for policy and practice reasons, to understand the impacts of this new mode of online communication.
This dark side of the internet has become an unprecedented arena for hatred. To gain a better understanding of this pernicious social problem, this project will explore the ‘Speak Out’ Survey data. Specifically, through the analysis of the data, the work will investigate the prevalence, impact, manifestation of, and responses to, online hate toward lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB+) individuals. The analysis is anticipated to consist of a range of statistical tests, for example, descriptive statistics, t-tests, regression models and multi-level modelling.
The work will explore the prevalence of online hate toward LGB+ victims, both within the UK and across the EU. Furthermore, it will explore the impact of online hate toward these victims and the manifestation of hate across different social media platforms. Lastly, to contribute to the growing field of governance and regulation of online hate, it will explore the experiences of the response from the police and social media platforms to reporting online hate from the perspective of LGB+ victims.
This project has the potential to find an array of issues – for example, between country variance on impacts of online hate, which could potentially highlight LGB+ oppression and marginalisation in member states.
For further updates on the progress of this project or if you are interested in this research project or have any comments; please contact me via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.