Racial Discourse of 4chan.com
Dr. Marissa Doshi, Communication
This research analyzes the racist discourse on the website 4chan.com. With the popularity of the website rapidly increasing and the seeming increase in overt racism in our supposedly post-racial society, especially on social media sites, the study seeks to find out what people on 4chan post when they have the option of anonymity. The sense of anonymity on the website theoretically will allow people to post things not directly attached to their name, since they are in a crowd and not easily identifiable. Beyond this, given how incredibly polarizing the most recent election was for America, the links between race and politics deserve further attention. In the study, I coded multiple posts for how the site treats several different racial groups. I look at whether or not racial slurs were present for the various groups, and if so how often they are mentioned. Overall the results showed that there exists racist discourse towards Middle Eastern and Black people. Future research should explore if users actually believe what they are posting on the website and whether or not this discourse is seen elsewhere on the internet.
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