By Silvia Castagna, Maria Girasoli, Davide Modanese,
Marianna Piazza, Caterina Scarioni

Freedom for the thought
that we hate

The issue of hatred in the United States is widely debated and investigated in terms of crimes and groups on the territory. The monitoring of these phenomena is complex and often partial due to the high number of variables encountered when attempting to map a social phenomena in which the initiative of the individual is decisive. Nevertheless, the data collected by FBI and SPLC are generally reliable and pursue the objective of countering and monitoring the expression of hatred over time. We wondered whether we could say the same thing for "hate speech", a form of hatred expression that is particularly loud on the web today. In particular, the term is used to describe expressions intended to despise a person or group on the grounds of race, religion or other reasons of closure and intolerance. Unlike crimes and hatred groups, hate speeches fall into a less tangible but no less important form of expression, which is "invisible”, as the few related data available highlight. We therefore propose to analyze the phenomenon through an empirical path of data collection, in order to define a general picture of hate speech, as well as the network of actors involved in the debate.