Monitoring and Analysis of Hateful Language in South Africa Report #3.

South Africa’s election last week was largely a success according to observers both inside and outside the country. But there was a dangerous conflict undercurrent that escaped the eyes of many: a significant rise in online hateful terms. Throughout this week’s reporting period, we monitored a 30% increase in hateful terms in South Africa, marked by the prominent use of phrases like “Kill the Whites” and “Land Thieves.” This rise was boosted by discussion on social media of hateful terms associated with South Africa’s political parties, including the Black First Land First slogan “Land or Death.”

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 third 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.