Hate online: Anti-immigration rhetoric in Darknet

  • Eva Kaján Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Abstract

The worsening conditions in the Middle-East and Sub-Saharan Africa have
resulted in millions of asylum seekers entering the European Union. Also, Finland
received over ten times more asylum seekers in 2015 than the previous years. The
irregular migration has generated many public discussions and demonstrations at the
local and national level against and for asylum seekers. Furthermore, online hate speech
has increased and intensified. This research examines how asylum seekers are portrayed
in a discussion forum inside Darknet. The results show that this forum holds three distinct
hate-related themes when discussing asylum seekers. These were related to imported
violence, economics and cultural identity. Hate speech is targeted towards very specific
ethnic groups and religion(s), which resonate the current geopolitical situation in Finland
concerning asylum seekers. In addition, hate extends beyond asylum seekers into
Finnish society, where it’s expressed as negative speech towards the authorities and
pro-immigration movement. The results also indicate that despite the Darknet’s reputation
of being an unregulated online space, there are some rules, which guide the dialogues.

How to Cite
Kaján, E. (2018). Hate online: Anti-immigration rhetoric in Darknet. Nordia Geographical Publications, 46(3), 3-22. Retrieved from https://nordia.journal.fi/article/view/69864