Facebook and Hate speech: Analyzing Relationship between Consumers' Attributes and Islamic Sectarian Content on Social Media in Pakistan

  • Abid Ali Abid Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Savera Shami Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Ayesha Ashfaq Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
Keywords: Keywords: Religious Extremism, Facebook, Hate Speech, Shia, Sunni

Abstract

Religious extremism has been one of the major areas of concern for communication scholars throughout the world. In Pakistan, the form of sectarian division on the ideological occasion of Muharram has always been observed. As a result, a lot of hate speech has been used on social media by the followers of Shia and Sunni sects. This study not only aims to determine a relationship between the demographics of the users who post the hateful materials on the social media regarding any sect, it also aspires to investigate whether the socio-economic background, education or gender plays any role in determining the level of hate speech against any sect. For this purpose, while drawing upon the theory of Uses and Gratification, a sample of 100 users of Facebook were surveyed through a questionnaire developed on 5- point Likert scale. It was found that the people from different sects like to post and share the sectarian hate speech. The study found that there was a strong relationship in the level of religiosity and posting of hate speech, however, the more the tilt towards religious practices, the more users post hateful speech on Facebook pages, Furthermore, it was also found that the education level and  socio- economic status also play important role in this arena; the better they live (more household income  and  more  study),  the  lesser  they  post  such  hateful  material.

Keywords: Religious Extremism, Facebook, Hate Speech, Shia, Sunni

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Published
2021-06-29
How to Cite
Abid Ali Abid, Savera Shami, and Ayesha Ashfaq. 2021. “Facebook and Hate Speech: Analyzing Relationship Between Consumers’ Attributes and Islamic Sectarian Content on Social Media in Pakistan”. Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization 11 (1), 453-62. https://doi.org/10.32350/jitc.111.2.