The vast majority of the discourse explicitly used the word hate in the YouTube sample was found across a number of videos, including the video about Saudi Arabia declaring war on Lebanon, according to the Hezbollah leader (4/16 instances), the Syrian refugees and the sex industry in Lebanon (2/16 instances), instability looming over Lebanon after the Prime Minister’s resignation, with the possibility of Lebanon becoming a battlefield for Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel (2/16 instances), homosexuality and transsexuality being illegal in Lebanon (2/16 instances), and Lebanese female police officers in shorts (2/16 instances).
The most salient discussions to arise from these videos included terms like ‘break’ (1 instance, logDice = 12.68), ‘have’ (2 instances, logDice = 12.29), ‘more’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.83), and ‘much’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.83). Other notable terms associated with hate were descriptive terms, including ‘increasingly’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.3) and ‘strongly’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.14). Yet, some important terms associated with hate were negative: ‘kill’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.09) and ‘bad’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.68) while one was positive: ‘love’ (1 instance, logDice = 11.54). Two other terms that stood out when associated with hate were ‘Arabia’ (5 instance, logDice = 10.24) and ‘real’ (1 instance, logDice = 10.03).
Within these discussions a minute number of users spread hateful sentiment, with the vast majority of this discourse focusing on Jews, followed – to a much lesser extent – by anti-gay sentiment. For the former, again, similar to the discourse about war, Hezbollah, Muslims, and religion, users drew from Zionist conspiracies to blame Jews for the vast majority of Lebanon’s social problems, with the main focus of the hateful sentiment on issues related to US and Saudi politics. Here, the general consensus was that Israel was conspiring to systematically suppress Lebanese citizens, or as one user explained in response to discussions about Saudi Arabia declaring war on Lebanon:
“Yes, it is obvious that the state of israel is evil and was created by communist bundist jews.. You know they meet together with the Zionist jews from time to time in their world jewish congress meetings.. As i can see they meet yearly in the timeline for more than 70 years- soviet or communist bolshevik jews meeting with the zionist jews in the same conference or table.” (video source: Saudi Arabia declaring war on Lebanon, according to the Hezbollah leader)
More specific forms of hate speech included verbal attacks against the US or Saudi Arabia, with Jews – according to some YouTube users – as the “real” operators of all the misdoings of these two nations against Lebanon. To illustrate, in discussing the U.S. activity and funding efforts in the Middle East, one user argued that:
“What do you think what you are doing. ISIS is CIA/Mossad. If you leave than your proxy army will lose. The USA didn't made the ISIS for nothing. America has been hijacked by big money interests for a long time now...While the world is increasingly hating America, the entire world actually has the very same problem coming from the same underlying great failure that's afflicting America using debt economics and nonstop war for profit. It's so sad. Assad is winning against ISIS. WTF are we even doing!? […] 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)
Similarly, another user took aim at Saudi Arabia, accusing it of operating on behalf of Israel:
“Though I am a Muslim, I hate Saudi Arabia from my deepest soul […] You are just fulfilling the Zionist narrative. They WANT sectarian conflict! It's what strengthens the Zionist entity and puts money in their pockets. In a way you are all idiots, Israel is the sole threat to the Middle East. The only good thing in Saudi Arabia is Macca and Madina. The royal family has destroyed all the good things in Islam and now trying to make the Pilgrimage like a tourist destination.” (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)
Some anti-gay sentiment came to the fore during discussions, ranging from users arguing over whether Lebanon or Australia is more homophobic, with one user noting that Lebanon is “a really homophobic society weither it's the Muslim lebanese or the Christian one Wth obviously not lool” (video source: homosexuality and transsexuality being illegal in Lebanon), and another Australian user noting that Australia is “the biggest racist country in the world and we hate gays bad bad and it's a Christian country” (video source: homosexuality and transsexuality being illegal in Lebanon). Other users referred to homosexuals as species, animals even, or as one user wrote: “Homosexuality has been found in over 500 species. […] As if it's only gay's disease. No straight human gets AIDS! Idiot Ne Man human is kind of an animal. no wonder you don't know that. Cause you're probably a stupid muslim […]” (video source: homosexuality and transsexuality being illegal in Lebanon).
Overall, hate speech in this discussion topic largely targeted Jews and, to a lesser extent, the US, and Saudi Arabia. The majority of this discourse maintained an anti-Semitic leaning and constant chatter about Jews trying to suppress Lebanese citizens, with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia acting as Israeli pawns.
The vast majority of significant collocations for the term hate and hatred were concentrated in the discussion on the film Wonder Woman being banned in Lebanon on account of the leading actress, Gal Gadot, being Israeli (Doc 6). Other references stemmed from a variety of discussions including the Syrian refugee outflow (Doc 25) and the homosexuality law being repealed (Doc 26).
A recurring argument, especially in the Wonder Woman thread, was about whether the move was motivated by anti-Jewish, religious sentiment or by anti-Israeli political sentiment, as exemplified in this humorous exchange (Note: You don’t mess with The Zohan is a poorly rated American comedy starring the American-Jewish actor Adam Sandler, revolving around an Israeli counter terrorist):
“I still think boycotts aren't the answer, but at least I can understand the motivation It's due to the fact Lebanon is at war with Israel still. And varying anti-Israel hatred and indifference exists among them (especially since the 2006 War) the same was hatred and indifference exists among all countries.”
“Sure. Specific to movies though, This is odd. For instance, I've never heard of an Adam Sandler movie not allowed in Lebanon. Correct me if I'm wrong.
“Perhaps it's never happened with Adam Sandler movies because Sandler isn't Israeli and never served in the Israeli military like Gadot.”
“What did you say about the Zohan ?”
“They wouldn't dare ban that masterpiece.” (doc 6)
A recurring structure of arguments on Reddit is two people or groups accusing each other of bigotry, hatred, posturing, the use of questionable evidence, and faulty reasoning. These dialogues are often complex and well structured. It is very meta-level, arguing about the validity and types of arguments. It is difficult to establish the extent to which the parties are involved in genuine or inauthentic debate.
“I am so sick of BIGOTS LIKE YOU!!! Assuming things about my race/gender and also my views is abhorrent to say the least, but obviously you dont care about stereotyping and being a bigot. That is the most basic move out of the bigotry and hatred playbook you repugnant reject of a human being. ….. Ive proven you wrong with irrefutable EVIDENCE and spent way too much time arguing with a stereotyping bigot who shown his true colors. If you can find more things to try and argue ill prove you wrong with facts and evidence all day. Bring on some more bullshit claims I dare you”.
“lol. nice try turning it around, but you were the one to say lgbt people were mentally ill. youre the bigot. and its funny, you deleted your comment where you stated that so you clearly understand that you are the bigot here. i didnt assume anything about you, let me finish the last statememt i made since you didnt seem to understand it. "ohh, youre one of those people that think lgbt people are mentally ill". no assumptions, exactly what you already said, and you dont even have the balls to stand by your belief when you get downvoted.” (Doc 25)
All the other significant collocations for hate and hatred are very broadly used to refer to something in the context of the discussion and could not therefore be specifically analyzed.
The keyword “hate” revealed frequent and strong associations with terms such as: Wynne, her.
Overwhelmingly, when reddit conversations were about former Ontario Liberal Party leader and Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, comments referenced her appearance and her sexual orientation:
"Liberal supporter (in general) here. I can't stand her face." (74 points)
"I hate her because she's a lesbian woman progressive." (7 points)
"There are people out there that hate her as Premier because she is a woman and there are people who hate her because she's a lesbian." (10 points)
Comments that overtly suggested that former Ontario Liberal Party leader and Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, is subject to hate because of her sexual orientation were 'downvoted in oblivion':
"People who are stuck 100 years ago hate her because she's a woman who likes women." (-11 points)
Words associated with the keyword "hate" were used to provide definitions for different expressions of hatred, and to debate where the line between concepts get drawn in practice.
Within discussions concerning the far-right messages that had recently appeared in public spaces in urban Canadian cities, comments highlighted a relatively common understanding of the concept of ‘hate speech’ within Canada:
"Stating your opinion on the topic is protected speech. It crosses the line when it involves a call to action against a protected group, which constitutes hate speech." (13 points)
"We already have protections— no one poses any challenge to them and if the words cross the line or actually cause any harm to us as an identifiable group or whatever we have abundant means to fight it." (21 points)
Within reddit conversations concerning the far-right movement in Canada, comments signaled a common understanding of the potential dangers of hate speech, and whether it should be limited within society:
"There are grave consequences to allowing extremist hate speech. While most of us are able to discern bad ideas and isolate them there are vulnerable members of our society who have not (or cannot) developed this ability." (2 points)
"If you condemn the act [the hate speech] as potentially criminal you are taking a stand against it. I don’t think the police going after someone for this is limiting free speech. It is very clearly some sort of hate speech." (5 points)
Within reddit conversations concerning the Toronto Police’s decision to launch an investigation into the appearance of Alt-Right posters in Toronto, there were debates about the relationship between racism, hate speech, and hate crimes:
"Simply being racist is not a hate crime though." (11 points)
"Racism is not against the law and in itself is not considered a hate crime." (17 points)
"I do not see anything hateful or criminal about this. It is as 'racist' as 'black lives matter' is in that it is promoting defensive viewpoints from a people who perceive themselves as marginalized. This is a shocking waste of police resources to try and find who put them up." (12 points)