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