The vast majority of the discourse about the government in the YouTube sample was found in the video about Syrian refugees and the sex industry in Lebanon (9/44 instances), the U.S. sending money and personnel to Lebanese armed forces reportedly linked to Hezbollah (8/44 instances), and instability looming over Lebanon after the Prime Minister’s resignation, with the possibility of Lebanon becoming a battlefield for Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel (7/44 instances), followed by some user responses to videos about the 18 religions that make up Lebanon's government (4/44 instances), Saudi Arabia declaring war on Lebanon, according to the Hezbollah leader (3/44 instances), and questions about whether Lebanon is on the brink of turmoil thanks to the Prime Minister’s resignation (3/44 instances).
The most salient discussions to arise from these videos were associated with ‘priority’ (1 instance, logDice = 13.41), ‘self’ (1 instance, logDice = 13.41), and ‘zionist’ (1 instance, logDice = 13). Other notable terms associated with the government were positive ones, including ‘legitimate’ (4 instances, logDice = 10.31). Yet, other important terms associated with government were negative. These included ‘paracite’ (1 instance, logDice = 12.68), ‘helpless’ (1 instance, logDice = 12.19), ‘bullshit’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.99), ‘garbage’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.83), ‘problem’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.41), ‘corrupt’ (2 instances, logDice = 10.35), ‘dislike’ (2 instances, logDice = 10.35), ‘rob’ (2 instances, logDice = 10.32), ‘dictator’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.14), and ‘destruction’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.00). Other terms that stood out included ‘Hizbollah’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.24) and ‘Saudi’ (6 instances, logDice = 10.21).
Within these discussions about governments, the overwhelming majority of hate speech was centered around the Israeli government. As with other topic models, it was clear that users in the YouTube sample who were spreading hateful messages believed that the Israeli government was the root of all evil and responsible for Lebanon’s social, political, and economic misfortunes. While much of this hateful sentiment focused on Saudi Arabia and the US (two other key opponents of Lebanon), another commonality was the vilification of Jews as the real threat, and enemy of the Lebanese people. In other words, users discussed their perception of “truth” about Israel and its power over the Western world and the subsequent (negative) consequences this had on Lebanon. As one user framed it:
“[…] everyone knows Zionist Of Israel slaves US government have always sold weapons too any side that supports their political agenda or only American interest . Indeed you can not teach an old dog new tricks another foot being placed against Iran and Russia, don't even think they are doing it for the good of lebanese..that's bullshit. I'm ok with this as long as Israel's greatest threat get stronger. I say down with Israel and her people. Can I get an AMEN? ste c Jews are a problem and in the west they want whites replaced. They are huge money swindlers , corrupt and just all around rats.” (video source: US sending money and personnel to Lebanese armed forces reportedly linked to Hezbollah)
Similarly, some YouTube users described, in bold terms, how terrorist groups were pawns of the Israel government, noting that groups such as ISIS were secretly receiving support from Western nations who were covertly being controlled by a Jewish occupational government, or as one user explained:
“SEND THOSE WESTERN ZIONIST TERROR GROUPS BACKED TO HELL! THE 'CIVILISED' WESTERN REGIMES ARE THE TERRORISTS IN TODAYS WORLD! THEY SEEM TO THINK,IN THEIR DELUDED MINDS, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY NATIONS AND ELECTED GOVERNMENTS” (video source: the militant group Hezbollah battling Islamic State alongside the Syrian Arab Army)
Some users were quick to respond calling these users conspiracists and delusional, yet, unsurprisingly, much of the above sentiment, went unchallenged. In fact, other YouTube users built on it by forcefully opposing the US, its activities and funding efforts in the Middle East, or as one user noted:
“Until we get the Zionist neo-cons out of government and out of the intelligence agencies, it will always be Israel first. /deep sigh.” (video source: US sending money and personnel to Lebanese armed forces reportedly linked to Hezbollah)
In discussions about the U.S. and Saudi Arabia (two nations who were working closely with Israel and considered pawns of the Jews), a smaller group of users were much more hostile, going as far as promoting violence, in their efforts to demonize Jews. For example, one user wrote:
“Death to the US Empire and the House of Saud and Israel! No nation who's people and government have sworn the shahada can, in good conscience, work with the Zionists. If the choice is, by Allah, between Paradise or hellfire it's clear where the House of Saud should begin investing... asbestos clothes! Lebanon is for the Lebanese people,Whether They are Muslims or Christians does not matter.All are in The Eyes of God is the same.The defected Prime Minister is a coward,he wanted to take revenge of his Father welcoming Saudi Arabia.This time Saudi Arabia will be beaten severely their economy will collapse,they have to come sixties economy policy. Lebanon people are brave I am sure wahabism will not enter in Lebanon.This evil Monarchy will not last forever,it will be same as Iran soon. No kingdom lasts forever.” (video source: instability looming over Lebanon after the Prime Minister’s resignation, with the possibility of Lebanon becoming a battlefield for Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel)
All in all, hateful discussions about government in the YouTube sample were, by far, focused on the Israeli government and echoed negative attitudes found in the other topics. In short, and not surprisingly, Jewish people and Israel as a nation bore the brunt of the hateful sentiment in the YouTube sample. Discussions about the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) conspiracy theory dominated this sample.