ESR Name: Laura Dellagiacoma

Institution: Institute for Democracy and Civil Society

Supervisor(s): Prof. T. Rothmund, Prof. W. Frindte, Dr. D. Geschke

Project Title: Online hate speech: contents, networks and effects on hate crime.

Project Synopsis: While the interest of researchers and policy-makers towards online hate speech is growing, its impact on the offline world is still to be assessed. Building upon previous research that analyses the links between the offline and online worlds (e.g., Helsper, 2012; Helsper, van Deursen, Eynon, 2015), I would like to investigate the potential relations between online hate speech and hate crimes. More specifically, my research will focus on differences and similarities between on- and offline perpetrators, bystanders, and victims in regard to their social and digital networks and their socio-economic background. Particular attention will be paid to the role of prejudice and anonymity and their mechanisms in the spread of online hate speech as well as in the motivation to commit hate crimes. The overarching goal is to gain knowledge on intergroup and power relations in our contemporary societies, proceeding from the micro to the macro level. The German context will be primarily studied, and social network analyses will be conducted and linked with hate crime data. Results will not only contribute to the academic literature but also inform policy-makers on how to act against the spreading of hate both in the online and offline worlds. 

ESR Biography: Laura Dellagiacoma is a PhD candidate at Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena (Germany) and is working within the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDCS)/Amadeu Antonio Stiftung (AAS). She graduated in psychology at the the University of Padua (Italy) and gained experiences abroad at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and at University of Helsinki (Finland). Her master thesis is based on the research project “DigiIN – Towards socially inclusive digital society” of the University of Helsinki, in which she participated as a research assistant. She worked as a project management assistant within the EUMINT Project (Euroregions, Migration and Integration) project of the Eurac research institute of Bolzano. Before joining the NETHATE, Laura worked as a trainee at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), within the research and data unit (R&D). In this role, she mainly worked on the EU Immigrants and Descendants Survey and on hate crime.