"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both," says the Italian philosopher and diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli. And in this day and age, fear has become the main impetus some people use to rile up violence and bigotry.
Adam G. Klein, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Pace University, writes:
Hate crimes in the 21st century follow a familiar pattern in which an online tirade escalates into violent actions. The pattern of extremists unloading their intolerance online has been a disturbing feature of some recent hate crimes. But most online hate isn’t that flagrant, or as easy to spot.
As I found in my 2017 study on extremism in social networks and political blogs, rather than overt bigotry, most online hate looks a lot like fear. It’s not expressed in racial slurs or calls for confrontation, but rather in unfounded allegations of Hispanic invaders pouring into the country, black-on-white crime or Sharia law infiltrating American cities.
Read more about the article on The Conversation.
(Image credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic)