Monitoring and Analysis of Hateful Language in South Africa Report #2.

South Africans head to the polls next week to cast their votes in a general election that marks 25 years of multi-racial, multi-party democracy. As we reflect on the progress that’s been made, we’re also offering new data on the hateful language trends being catalyzed by certain politicians and members of the public - only worsened by the country’s ongoing economic and social inequalities, disparities in land ownership, and the climate crisis. With election day approaching, we’re seeing a shift in hateful language amid fears that these changes will contribute to the growing polarization between and among South Africa’s political, social, and economic classes.

PeaceTech Lab, in partnership with Media Monitoring Africa, is monitoring and analyzing online and offline hateful language trends throughout South Africa’s election season to offer insights on the potential relationship between this type of language and instances of violence seen in municipalities country-wide. The second report in a six-part series we’re releasing twice a month, this data aims to support South Africans, NGOs, local governments, and social media companies as they work to build an effective response to hateful language in the context of the country’s election.