New publication: Inhuman hate: The role of recommendation algorithms and social bots for the dissemination of cyberhate


PropStop researchers Dr. Lena Frischlich, Svenja Boberg, and Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt have published an article entitled “Inhuman hate: The role of recommendation algorithms and social bots for the dissemination of cyberhate” which is featured in the recently released fourth volume of the publication series about the digital society North Rhine-Westphalia.

In the article, the three authors set out to analyze how daily Internet usage is increasingly shaped by non-human players, particularly by programs such as recommendation algorithms and social bots, which are capable of simulating human communication behavior. In doing so, these programs promote the personalization and anthropomorphization of the Internet, Frischlich, Boberg and Quandt point out. Even though algorithms and social bots involve many advantages for millions of online users, they also allow for easy and extensive dissemination of hate speech and cyberhate as well as for the emergence of filter bubbles and echo chambers – and have, thus, high negative impact potential. Nevertheless, Internet users can still maintain power over human as well as non-human hate speech through prudence, critical reflection, and media literacy, as the authors state.

Not only Dr. Lena Frischlich‘s, Svenja Boberg‘s und Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt‘s article deals with the current phenomenon that a growing number of Internet users exhibit aggressive and destructive behavior online. The other contributions of the publication series’ fourth volume, which is entitled “Online hate speech – perspectives on a new form of hate”, also do so, following the series’ objective to describe and comment on how society is affected and changed by digitalization.

The whole publication (which is available only in German) is distributed by the publisher kopaed and can be downloaded for free on the website of the Grimme institute.