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Understanding cyberhate: Social competition and social creativity in on-line White-supremacist groups

Douglas, Karen, McGarty, Craig, Bliuc, A.M., Lala, G. (2005) Understanding cyberhate: Social competition and social creativity in on-line White-supremacist groups. Social Science Computer Review, 23 (1). pp. 68-76. ISSN 0894-4393. (doi:10.1177/0894439304271538) (KAR id:4238)


This study investigated the self-enhancement strategies used by online White supremacist groups. In accordance with social identity theory, we proposed that White supremacist groups, in perceiving themselves as members of a high-status, impermeable group under threat from out-groups, should advocate more social conflict than social creativity strategies. We also expected levels of advocated violence to be lower than levels of social conflict and social creativity due to legal constraints on content. As expected, an analysis of 43 White supremacist web sites revealed that levels of social creativity and social conflict were significantly greater than were levels of advocated violence. However, contrary to predictions, the web sites exhibited social creativity to a greater extent than they exhibited social conflict. The difference between social creativity and social competition strategies was not moderated by identifiability. Results are discussed with reference to legal impediments to overt hostility in online groups and the purpose of socially creative communication

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0894439304271538
Uncontrolled keywords: cyberhate; social competition; conflict; violence; social creativity; White supremacists
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2008 15:40 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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