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Cyberhate on social media in the aftermath of Woolwich: A case study in computational criminology and big data

Williams, Matthew L. and Burnap, Pete 2016. Cyberhate on social media in the aftermath of Woolwich: A case study in computational criminology and big data. British Journal of Criminology 56 (2) , pp. 211-238. 10.1093/bjc/azv059

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Abstract

This paper presents the first criminological analysis of an online social reaction to a crime event of national significance, in particular the detection and propagation of cyberhate on social media following a terrorist attack. We take the Woolwich, London terrorist attack in 2013 as our event of interest and draw on Cohen’s process of warning, impact, inventory and reaction to delineate a sequence of incidents that come to constitute a series of deviant responses following the attack. This paper adds to contemporary debates in criminology and the study of hate crime in three ways: (1) it provides the first analysis of the escalation, duration, diffusion and de-escalation of cyberhate in social media following a terrorist event; (2) it applies Cohen’s work on action, reaction and amplification and the role of the traditional media to the online context and (3) it introduces and provides a case study in ‘computational criminology’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0007-0955
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2015
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 09:30
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73442

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