Political Implications of Hate Speech Digitalization in a Post-Truth Era: Impact on Emotional Regimes in Digital Conflicts

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The digitalization of public life modifies old phenomena. Some of these changes prove to be detrimental to certain public spheres, including politics. Digital hate speech is one of the most obvious examples of digitalization’s impact on political processes. The manifestation of hatred online became an urgent challenge to political systems globally. In this respect, a theoretical and practical elaboration is necessary to counter the new threat. This study aims to identify the social mechanisms that make hate speech an instrument in information campaigns. The article illustrates the discursive and emotional aspects of the public manifestation of hatred. The theoretical basis of this work is the theory of “emotional regimes” and the concept of “regimes of truth”, which express the mutual influence of subjectivity and public discourse. Comparing the theoretical framework with the practical aspects of hate speech demonstrates that digital platforms and social networks form an environment that accelerates and facilitates the dissemination of hatred in the public space. As a result, various forms of hatred are accepted as a new social norm, which leads to such phenomena as harassment, humiliation, or even physical persecution. The modern technical reality allows to instrumentalize hate speech for manipulation, which results in three main scenarios for social impact: 1) large impact with low personalization; 2) targeted impact with high personalization; 3) broad and decentralized targeted impact using artificial intelligence. While countering each of these scenarios, a key challenge is to combine long-term and specialized measures.

About the authors

Yury Y. Kolotaev

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: yury.kolotaev@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8372-1193

postgraduate of the School of International Relations

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Kolotaev Y.Y.

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