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

Williams, Matthew Leighton and Burnap, Peter 2015. 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: Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ)
Computer Science & Informatics
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0007-0955
Funders: ESRC
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2016 16:43
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73442

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