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Understanding cyberhate: Social competition and social creativity in online white supremacist groups

Douglas, K.M., McGarty, C., Bliuc, A.M. and Lala, G. (2005) Understanding cyberhate: Social competition and social creativity in online white supremacist groups. Social Science Computer Review, 23 (1). pp. 68-76.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894439304271538
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Abstract

This study investigated the self-enhancement strategies used by online White supremacist groups. In accordance with social identity theory, we proposed that White supremacist groups, in perceiving themselves as members of a high-status, impermeable group under threat from out-groups, should advocate more social conflict than social creativity strategies. We also expected levels of advocated violence to be lower than levels of social conflict and social creativity due to legal constraints on content. As expected, an analysis of 43 White supremacist web sites revealed that levels of social creativity and social conflict were significantly greater than were levels of advocated violence. However, contrary to predictions, the web sites exhibited social creativity to a greater extent than they exhibited social conflict. The difference between social creativity and social competition strategies was not moderated by identifiability. Results are discussed with reference to legal impediments to overt hostility in online groups and the purpose of socially creative communication.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
Publisher: Sage
Copyright: Sage
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3153
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