Hate cyberbullying bullying and cyberbullying: correlational risk factors for intervention perspectives.

Anna C. Baldry1 & Anna Sorrentino2

1Associate Professor in Social Psychology, Department of Psychology, Second University of Naples

2 PhD Student, Department of Psychology, Second University of Naples


Similar to cyberbullying, cyber hate is an increasing problem among adolescents (Potok 2015). Cyber hate differently from cyberbullying is not referred to a single person, but aims at humiliating, denigrating and devaluing others because of their religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation and to recruit and connect other people in support of their cause (Douglas 2007; McNamee et al. 2010).

This study aimed at investigating cyber hate diffusion in a sample of 5,058 Italian students aged 11->18 (47.4% males), surveyed about their online experiences. In particular, this paper focuses on the role that parental and teachers’ education and sensitization has on cyberbullying and student’s willingness to report online cyber hate groups to significant adults.

Results showed that cyber hate was reported respectively by 31.4% and 30.3% of all participants, reporting they know students who support and/or are part of online hate groups and students who shared online material evocating violence or threatening materials. The hierarchical Regression Analysis performed showed that poor parental and peers’ education and sensitization on cyberbullying, students reluctance to help cybervictims, and knowing about the existence of online hate groups were related to students unwillingness to report cyber hate incidents. Implications and limit of the study are presented.


The exposure and involvement of the young people in online hate messages: racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, islamophobia

Blaya Catherine1, Aurélie Dumond2, Jean-François Bruneaud3, Alessandro Bergamaschi4, Rania Hanafi4, Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun5.

1 Professor in Education Sciences (ESPE-URMIS UMR CNRS 8245 - IMR IRD 205 ), and Chair of the International Observatory of Violence in Schools at the University Nice Sophia Antipolis. France

2 PhD student University Nice Sophia Antipolis – URMIS  (UMR CNRS 8245 - IMR IRD 205)

3 Associate Professor - Bordeaux University - LACES EA - 4140

4 Associate Professor - University Nice Sophia Antipolis - URMIS  (UMR CNRS 8245 - IMR IRD 205)

5 Emeritus Professor of political sciences and feminist studies - University Paris Diderot - Laboratoire du Changement Social et Politique. She is also Chief Editor of the journal Tumultes


In the aftermath of terrorist attacks worldwide, some particular concern has risen about the young people that are victims, authors or witnesses of online hate spreading and their possible adhesion to extreme violence. In France, the LICRA (2012) and the CNDCH (2012) show an increase in online racist contents. At a psychological developmental stage when young people are seeking their identities, and are particularly vulnerable and easily influenced (De Singly, 2008), organized hate groups target youth as new recruits most specifically (Lee & Leets, 2002). This research funded by the CNRS within its call for proposal “attentats-recherche” set out to evaluate the prevalence of the exposure of the young people (aged 11-20) to online hate as well as their potential involvement as victims, authors, witnesses through a questionnaire survey (n=1,500) and its consequences under the form of the individuals’ well-being, their coping strategies and possible adhesion to violent ideas (22 face-to-face interviews and questionnaire survey). Findings show that one out of three respondents were exposed to hate contents and that quite a few were victims (13,8%) or authors (9%) during the previous 6 months. Consequences confirm that such contents generate not only unease but also hate among the affected participants to the survey and that coping strategies are not always appropriate. These findings will be discussed in a perspective of intervention and prevention needs.

Keywords: Cyberhate, young people, racism, involvement, consequences


Presentation of “Seriously” an online platform to defuse cyberhate in SNs and other social media

M. Guillaume Buffet

Administrator of “Renaissance Numérique”, Creator of “Seriously”


1 – Seriously

Seriously is a tool designed and developped by a citizen-based think tank « Renaissance Numérique », and co-built with partner associations and experts. Our wish is helping to find solutions to reduce the dynamic of hate on the Internet. Backed by its expertise of counter-speech, the think tank introducedits first « do-tank » project: the Seriously platform.

Our approach is based on 3 fundamentals :

• Victims/witnesses’ call fot assistance when facing hate speeches

• Learn how to pacify a discussion

• Citizens’ self involvement and accountability

2 – Key steps of Seriously

• March 2016 : 2 days workshop were organised in collaboration with some thirty partner

associations and experts in order to co-build Seriously.

• June 2016 : launching of the platform Bêta version

• Summer 2016 : Testing phase (test and learn approach)

• September 2016 : Feedbacks analysis and official launching

3 – Live demo

Beyond the platform, Seriously acts as a methodology serving associations and Internet users to create the future digital citizenship. This includes several steps :

• Use « factchecking » to increase the objectivity of the debate (with data, graphics,


• Use « experts advice » to calm the discussion by adopting the right tone in your answer.

• Illustrate and adjust your arguments with the videos, images and texts available on the


• Finally, gather all of your choosed content to answer peacefully in one single page.

4 – Analysis of 3 real case studies

1. Positive counter-speech visibility

2. Prevents misinformation

3. De-escalate of hate


From “Prophets of Deceit” to cyberhate

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun

Emeritus Professor of political sciences and feminist studies – University Paris Diderot – Laboratoire du Changement Social et Politique. She is also Chief Editor of the journal Tumultes.


In 1949, “Prophets of Deceit” was published in the United States, as the fifth volume of the series “Studies on Prejudice” edited by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. The objective of this work, written by both Leo Lowenthal and Norbert Guterman, was to identify and analyse the discourses of those who were agitating the American society, targeting the Jewish people as enemies and spreading anti-Semitism. The former volumes of this astounding study completed by a wide research team from numerous complementary disciplines, was focusing on the reception and receptors of these messages. The long-term objective was both political and pedagogical: to identify “potential fascism” and think about a “democratic pedagogy”. Anti-Semitism emerged as an element of a whole that could include other forms of stereotypes (against Black people, The Japanese, women).

From the discourses of these agitators who often were predicators, we got to messages on the Internet, and the receptors of such messages are nowadays (very) young. Our objective remains the same though: how can we analyse this submission to irrational injunctions that incite hatred, and how is it possible to enable the creation of the critical distance that is key to any democratic project?

Keywords: Critical theory, Racism, pluridisciplinarity, Stereotypes, Democratic pedagogy


Status Relations and the Changing Face of Extremism in the United States Since 1960

James Hawdon

Professor of sociology. He is Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention - Virginia Tech- Blacksburg, Virginia, USA


While groups such as ISIS dominate recent headlines, the greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. is and has always been from domestic extremist groups. Funded in part by the National Institute of Justice, I use a common typology of extremist and hate groups to illustrate changes in the type of groups that have been most active in the United States since 1960.  Specifically, I document changes in the type of groups that have been most active, changing from leftwing political groups in the 1960s and 1970s to rightwing groups today.  I also document the rise of radical jihadist groups since the late 1990s and the growing threat these groups pose.  In addition, I will discuss how extremists have altered the strategies they use to express their hate.  I pay particular attention to how the widespread availability of the Internet radically altered the tactics of extremists and hate groups.  Then, using three waves of data collected from random samples of Americans ages 15 – 30 in 2013, 2015, and 2016, I document how exposure to online extremism has increased.  I also discuss changes in which groups are most frequently targeted.  I then offer a theoretical model to account for the observed patterns in extremist activity.  From a macro-historical perspective, extremism can be understood as expressions of self-help. As such, extremists engage in boundary-forming and maintaining behaviors, and they are likely to increase this behavior when they perceive threats to their group’s status.  Patterns of extremist activities are therefore explained by changes in the relative status hierarchy of various groups. I conclude by outlining the practical and theoretical implications for counterterrorism efforts.

Keywords: Hate groups, online extremism, status relation, cybervictimization, counterterrorism.


Perpetrators and Victims of Online Extremism: Status and Vulnerability

James Hawdon

Professor of sociology. He is Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention - Virginia Tech- Blacksburg, Virginia, USA


Funded in part by the National Institute of Justice, this research investigates who creates and disseminates online extremist messages, who sees these messages, and who is most offended by them.  Using Milner’s theory of status relations to account for individual participation in disseminating extremism, I argue that those who harbor extremist beliefs tend to be in vulnerable structural locations.  Specifically, these individuals are disproportionately members of groups who have limited avenues for material success while simultaneously facing challenges to their status position.  Moreover, those most involved in disseminating online extremism are further disenfranchised by being members of tightly bonded, but socially isolated, social networks.  Using the same theoretical lens, I then explain that those occupying competing status positions yet equally vulnerable structural positions as those who disseminate hate are the most likely to be offended by online extremism.  I then use data collected from a random sample of Americans ages 1ANR5 – 30 to test these theoretical predictions.  The results of a series of logistic and ordinal logistic equations confirm the hypotheses.  Thus, perpetrators and victims are linked through status competition that is occurring within the context of a post-industrial economy that limits access to material success for many.  The emotional intensity and possible physical violence associated with this relationship occurs because wealth is unachievable and status is inexpansible.   I conclude by outlining the implications for theoretical criminology and the practical implications for counterterrorism efforts.

Keywords: Online extremism, status relations, cyberviolence, victimization, production of hate materials.


Mediated perceptions of the 'Other': use of extremist and mainstream information sources and religious outgroup perceptions.

Elke Ichau1 & Leen d’Haenens2

1 Scientific assistant - University of Leuven, Belgium.      

2 Professor of Communication Science at the Institute for Media Studies at the KU Leuven


As media are assumed to play a key role in shaping people’s perceptions of other social groups they are often held responsible for facilitating outgroup hostility. While a number of studies have examined the impact of exposure to online hate speech on social trust (Näsi et al., 2015), attachment to the family, and offline victimisation (Oksanen et al., 2014) among young people, little attention has been paid to its relation with ethnic and religious outgroup attitudes. Besides extremist hate sites, mainstream information sources can contribute to outgroup hostility. News exposure to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for example, has been found to nurture negative stereotypes of the opposing ethnic group among young Jewish and Arab Americans, through identification with parties in the conflict and the attribution of responsibility for violence (Huesmann et al., 2012).

Taking into account young people’s complex information use patterns, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relation between exposure to extremist media, mainstream information about the conflicts in the Middle East, and negative views of outgroups. More specifically, it aims to examine the relation between extremist (right-wing and jihadist) information seeking, mediated exposure to the conflicts in the Middle East, and negative views of Jews and Muslims among adolescents and young adults, from an intergroup relations perspective. The data collection is ongoing. It consists of a single-wave survey conducted among 16-30 year olds (N = 220) in the cities of Antwerp and Vilvoorde (Belgium). Measures include extremist media use, exposure to the conflicts in the Middle East through different sources (mainstream news media, social networking sites, peers, and family), perceived social distance towards religious outgroups, antisemitism, and islamophobia. Findings will be compared between religious (atheists, Christians, Jews and Muslims) and ethnic (Flemish majority, Arab / Moroccan minority, Jewish minority) subgroups.

Keywords: Extremist media, information sources, religious outgroups, antisemitism, islamophobia


Conspiracy theories and their reception by the young people: an ethno-methodological approach

Wajdi Limam

PhD student – CRESPPA - University Paris 8 Saint-Denis


Since the Paris attacks, public authorities have made the fight against radicalization and the prevention against radicalization their top priority in terms of political discourses, research programmes and interventions.

On the Internet, part of the young people seem to recognize themselves in the discourse of “dissidence”, this large trend that is framed around Alain Soral. It promotes the conspiracy theories that, under cover of hypercriticism, meet great success.

Updating part of the so-called national revolutionary extreme-right’s rethoric, it recycles the most blatant stereotypes on various themes. Hence, the Jewish people have become stakeholders of a “metaphysical war between the Church and the Synagogue”; Freemasonry is considered to be the informal clergy of the Republic, with videos of French politicians that would promote it; on their side, gay people are viewed as a libertarian-liberal society and capitalism agents, that is an inheritance from the years 1968; More recently, Islamism would be an organization financed by Saudi Arabia  and Qatar, two “Zionist” countries that financially back up Daesh on one side and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other side, notably in France)

These statements are performative in the sense that they mobilize the stereotypes, representations and feelings of part of the populations. Thus they forward the message to the very young people, more particularly the ones who are trying to understand the world and who are going to be reached by these theses, videos, sustained by theoretical references.

Along these lines it seems relevant to question the possibility to protect the « system », represented by the State and its policies, to deconstruct such rethoric, as it is the main target. How can we impact on such discourses at the same time as we strengthen the critical skills of citizens?

Keywords: radicalization, prevention, youth, racism, Internet


Ethnic-cultural and sexual minorities and majorities in schools and their involvement in bullying and cyberbullying

Vicente J. Llorent

PhD. (Pedagogy) - Lecturer at the University of Córdoba-Spain


Recent approach to inclusion in education is in the consolidation process in many European and world educational systems. This perspective tries to achieve school success, equality and peace among all the students. Thus, special attention is paid to minorities. These groups might face more difficulties, and they could become vulnerable to be involved in bullying and cyberbullying. This conference shows the situation of minorities related to both types of violence comparing the majority group with minority groups. The analyses are performed for the majority group, as a whole, and the minority group divided into smaller groups by cultural (gypsies, first and second generation immigrants) and sexual diversity. The study focuses on the Compulsory Secondary Education in Spain, specifically in the region of Andalusia (372,031 students), described through a survey on a representative sample of 2139 adolescents (48% boys, mean age 13.79 years, SD=1.40) in 22 schools. These participants were selected through a random multistage cluster sampling with the confidence level of 95% and a sampling error of 2.11%. They answered specific questionnaires on bullying, cyberbullying. The findings report that minorities and the majority group are involved in bullying and cyberbullying. A regression analysis shows that being in a minority group predicts a small but significant percentage of variance of being involved in bullying and cyberbyllying. This study has theoretical and practical implications. These data should be considered to specify school management strategies and design of the school curriculum to prevent bullying and cyberbullying, and promote school inclusion. It is necessary to foster the teacher training to promote positive school-wide climate.

Keywords: Cyberbullying, bullying, ethnic-cultural minorities, sexual minorities, vulnerable groups, inclusion in education


Youth and religion

Charles Mercier

Assistant Professor in contemporary history at the University of Bordeaux (ESPE/LACES)


The presentation will seek to give an insight on the relationship between the young people and religion in a social context characterized by globalization and secularization. This subject was investigated in collective surveys and at different levels (regional, local, and continental) and in different parts of the world (North America, Europe, and Australia). In the light of a worldwide literature synthesis, we will try to better understand the issue of the involvement of the young people in cyberhate. If hate online goes beyond the scope of religion, it cannot be asserted that there is no existing relationship between the two issues. Symbolic religious resources can indeed be used as media and supports for hate speech or on the contrary to create and develop counter speech and fight radicalization strategies.

Keywords: youth, religions, globalization, secularization, identities


Online Hate at the Age of Uncertainty

Atte Oksanen

Professor of social psychology at the University of Tempere - Faculty of Social  Changes - Finland


Online hate (i.e. cyberhate, online hate speech) is a global phenomenon and it may take many forms and target others based on their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or some other group-defining characteristic. Notably, online hate is not an exception to the rules of interaction in the online setting but rather rooted in mainstream experience. We lack empirical research evidence about how online hate changes in quantity and quality over time. Societal uncertainty caused by unexpected societal events may explain why manifestations of anger and hate take new forms online.

This presentation presents key findings of two studies. First, study will present how the online hate exposure of Finnish young people (aged 16–30) changed after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. We use nationally representative survey data collected first at spring 2013 and again at the end of 2015, only a couple weeks after the Paris assault. The second study is based on a 5-country sample of respondents aged 15–80. The data were collected from France, Finland, Norway, Spain and the United States in early December 2015.

Findings show that in Finland exposure to online hate increased in succession of the terrorist attacks. Also the contents of hate changed, and at the end of 2015 online hate was more focused on ethnicity or nationality, religious conviction and political views. The findings based on comparative 5-country sample showed that those seeing online hate after Paris attacks reported higher level of societal fear. The effects are similar in all countries and the findings indicate that seeing online hate after dramatic events may further escalate feelings of societal uncertainty.

Keywords: Online hate, uncertainty, trust, terrorism.


Countering Online Hate Speech

Rachel Pollack Ichou

UNESCO - Programm Deputy Specialist - Division for the Freedom of Speech and Media Development


The UNESCO study “Countering Online Hate Speech” provides a global overview of the dynamics characterizing hate speech online and some of the measures that have been adopted to counteract and mitigate it, highlighting good practices that have emerged at the local and global levels. The publication offers a comprehensive analysis of the international, regional and national normative frameworks, with a particular emphasis on social and non-regulatory mechanisms that can help to counter the production, dissemination and impact of hateful messages online.

This study covers a number of axes along which hatred can be constructed, but not necessarily the full range of social categories such as race, ethnicity, language group, gender, religion, sexual preference or nationality. It recognizes that, however defined, the notion of hate speech is not about abstract ideas, such as political ideologies, faiths or beliefs – which ideas should not be conflated with specific groups that may subscribe to them. Hate speech concerns antagonism towards people.

The study further acknowledges that the biggest problems of hate speech online are currently in countries where there is high Internet connectivity. At the same time, this situation may portend similar developments elsewhere as more people become connected around the world. The study also registers that many of the responses which it assesses have evolved as reactions to cases of online hate speech. In this light, some of these experiences could be considered for adaptation proactively and early-on, rather than only after the emergence of the problem. The purpose of this study is to seek broader lessons from a range of empirical situations.

Key words: Hate speech, freedom of expression, response mechanisms, counter speech, media and information literacy.


Social Media and Youth Radicalization in the Digital Age

Rachel Pollack Ichou

UNESCO - Programm Deputy Specialist - Division for the Freedom of Speech and Media Development


Within UNESCO’s work on empowering youth to build peace, the Organization is leading research on social media and youth radicalization in the digital age. The commissioned study provides a global mapping of research into the assumed roles played by social media in radicalization processes in all regions, in the wider context of media more generally (including the effects of news and entertainment media). Based on a thorough review of academic and grey literature covering the past 15 years, the study finds little theorization of the radicalization process and a lack of scientific evidence of causal connections between social media and radicalization. Social media can be said to facilitate processes of radicalization, rather than drive them, and cannot be separated from off-line processes. The research also examines ongoing steps taken to counter radicalization, including ‘protecting’ users by blocking or removing content, empowering users with media and information literacy, engaging in counter speech and strengthening the role of journalism. It provides an in-depth analysis of the potential impact of these measures on online and off-line freedoms. Building on these empirical findings, the study includes recommendations for various actors including state actors, Internet companies, new media, civil society and researchers. It concludes that responses to radicalization processes must be holistic, human rights-oriented and driven by knowledge, rather than fear.

Keywords: Radicalization, social media, youth, mapping, counter-measures.


Exposure to online hate and its consequences

Pekka Räsänen

Professor of Economic Sociology in the Department of Social Research at the University of Turku - Finland


The recent expansion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been rapid and large-scale, but it is rooted in the development of information societies. Online services are now so integrated in everyday life that they are common tools continually used toward self-understanding and social networking. The essential nature of the Internet in our everyday life has made disconnecting from it increasingly difficult. As information on individuals accumulates via the usage of social media sites, vulnerability to various online attacks also increases. At the same time, online hate has become a major concern in many Western societies, yet very few survey studies have focused on young people’s exposure to hateful or threatening online material. Online hate is disseminated by both organised hate groups and individuals who use a variety of the advantages of social media today.

The presentation focuses on findings based on cross-national data that show that exposure to hate has become commonplace online. Online hate most often concerns issues of ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and physical appearance. The presentation also reviews and analyses personal victimisation and how online hate is associated with trust and subjective wellbeing. Findings show that those who have become victimised by online hate or crime report lower levels of subjective wellbeing than those who have not had such experiences. Those who have been victimised by online hate report lower levels of trust towards others than those who have not. Victimisation also tends to have a negative impact on social relations. Those who use the Internet frequently are most likely to become victimised. Among young online users in four countries, personal victimisation by online hate material is a relatively common phenomenon and, as one might expect, carries various negative consequences.

Keywords: online hate, victimization, subjective wellbeing, survey research.


Misuse of personal data in the context of friendship 2.0

Anca Velicu, Monica Barbovschi & Bianca Balea

Researchers at INSOC (Institute of Sociology) in Bucarest - Roumania


Rise of the SNS has brought an unprecedented growth in peer relational aggression online (Boyd and Ellison, 2008), with various forms of personal data misuse as a specific type of cyberbullying, the latter broadly considered as behaviors involving numerous potentially negative consequences (Beyth-Marom et al. 1993; Boyer 2006; Gullone and Moore 2000). In this context, recent studies (Barbovschi & Velicu, 2014; Smahel & Wright, 2014; Vincent & Haddon, 2014) reported on some specific forms of personal data misuse (PDM) risks, such as sharing or tagging other peers without permission, impersonation (through hacking and fake accounts) and public shaming and humiliation (through slander and forwarding nude pictures) (Weinstein and Selman, 2014). Nevertheless, the question arise whether these experiences really have a negative impact on presumed ‘victims’ or are they ‘naturalised’ and included as new forms of interaction in youth culture.

This paper will explore most up-to-date data referring to young Romanians experiences of PDM and their perceptions of the harm they produce or, by contrast, their acceptances of some forms of PDM.  This study reports on qualitative and quantitative data collected in  Friends 2.0 project (2015-2017; Romania) which aims to explore the meaning of friendship for adolescents in the context of social media use. More exactly, we will rely on 12 single-sex focus groups with young people aged 11-13, 14-15, 16-18, in two urban areas in Romania and data collected by questionnaire with the same group age.

Keywords: Personal data misuse, Romanian adolescents, harm, friends, SNS.


Multicultural schools facing bullying and cyberbullying: strategies for prevention and intervention

Izabela Zych

Ph.D., lecturer in psychology at the University of Córdoba-Spain


Bullying is a long term repeated and extremely damaging aggression perpetrated by some students on their peers. Emergence and rapid development of information and communication technologies is a context for new opportunities to initiate and maintain interpersonal relationships or to learn in an attractive and interactive environment. Besides these opportunities, it is also a context for new risks. A new type of bullying perpetrated through electronic devices is called cyberbullying. Involvement in bullying and cyberbullying have very serious short and long term consequences for victims, perpetrators and all the members of the school community. Research shows that cultural and ethnic minorities are vulnerable to be involved in bullying and cyberbullying. Moreover, our recent study conducted with a representative sample of more than 2000 adolescents enrolled in 22 schools in Andalusia (Spain) shows that some students report also a specific type of cyberbullying attributed to their culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. Their teachers (more than 200) reported on how students´ cyber-behavior, including cyberbullying attributed to culture or ethnicity, is managed in their schools. This conference will present the results about these strategies and their relationship to the involvement in cyberbullying reported by the students. Given that bullying and cyberbullying are very complex phenomena, prevention and intervention strategies are also very complex. This conference will also review an ecological, systemic and community intervention approach that can be used to eradicate this kind of violence. Teacher education model used in the University of Córdoba focused on school-wide climate and promotion of positive interpersonal relationships will be described together with effective intervention and prevention strategies that could be implemented in multicultural school settings.

Keywords: cyberbullying, bullying, multicultural schools, minorities, prevention,

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