Social Media, Discrimination and Intolerance in South Africa.

Hateful Terms in a Milestone Election

South Africa’s upcoming general election marks 25 years of multi-racial democracy: a milestone which has us reflecting on how far the country has come - and how far it has to go.

Despite real and lasting achievements, problems of massive economic inequalities, disparities in land ownership, and high unemployment persist and are exacerbated by issues like migration and the climate crisis. It’s within this context that hateful language has spiked; certain politicians and members of the public have pushed anti-immigrant rhetoric while others have called for the expropriation without compensation of white-owned land, leading to fears that the chasms between and among South Africa’s political, social, and economic classes will only grow larger.

Building a Sustainable Response

In response, PeaceTech Lab partnered with South Africa’s Media Monitoring Africa to examine the origins, context, and influence of hateful speech in the country. Social Media, Discrimination and Intolerance in South Africa: A Lexicon of Hateful Terms pairs social media analysis with in-depth qualitative research to help everyone - from civil society activists to government officials - in their efforts to address the surging problem of hate speech.