Monitoring and Analysis of Hateful Language in South Africa Report #4.

The long-awaited South African general election, the  sixth to be held since the country’s independence and the end of apartheid, has come and gone in a largely peaceful manner. However, the aftershocks that have manifested in the days since the election tell a different story. While political campaigns have largely died down, South Africa has seen an influx of hateful terms on social media up 23% over the last reporting period. With each step of the post-election process -- the swearing in ceremony at parliament, post-election speeches by other candidates -- hateful terms on social media platforms have continued to rise. Although the ANC slid into a comfortable victory, the term ‘White Monopoly Capital’ has dominated hateful discourse, often being aimed at the party by supporters of the Black First Land First and Economic Freedom Fighters parties.

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 fourth 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.