It’s interesting to notice that the majority of the sites present themselves as a “Source of true information” by disassociating themselves from the main news and information platforms analyzed in protocol 1. Their expression is focused on “Constructive criticism”, “Freedom of expression” and “Defence and support of their people”. Contrary to what we expected hatred is not always screamed as we tend to think. Indeed, even if they have been categorized as “Hate Sites” by RationalWiki, these kind of pages usually talk using a neutral and calm tone of voice. We can observe the same behaviour on sites that define themselves as platforms for the spread of their “Academic point of view”. Instead in the clusters of sites that don’t deny to be “Hateful sites” or that insist on the free speech nature of their contents, the tones get heated, sometimes becoming aggressive or full of resentment.
As the main question suggests, this visualization was designed since we wanted to see how these “Hate Speech” sites present themselves to the users, what they want to say and how they express themselves.
The 48 RationalWiki’s pages are represented by circles with the site’s name on them. In the map we collected and divided the “Hate Sites” in the “Self description” typology, symbolized by dotted orange circumferences. The areas surrounded by a gray stroke are subordinated to the orange one and they represent a second categorization of the “Self description”. The circles’ colors depend on the tone of voice used by the sites in their “About” page or section. The mouseover helps reading the graph by highlight the same categories in which the sites are grouped.
To answer the question about how do the RationalWiki’s “Hate Sites” present themselves to the viewers we decided to analyze their “About” sections. We manually found out these sections on each page. If the observed sites had been previously shutted down we used the Wayback Machine tool to discover the deleted “About” of the pages. By these sections we extrapolated the self presentation paragraphs. Some sites didn’t provide any useful text for our scope so we had to exclude them. Once all the texts were collected and organized in an Excel file, we proceeded with a manual identification of which aspects and content typologies were highlighted in the paragraphs. We identified eight categories of self description and we defined these different parameters to recognize them.
Source of true information: use of words as “information”, “truth”, “news”, “education”. Use of concepts like “the main platforms of news lie to us”.
Academic point of view: Introduction at their scientific/historical theories.
Defense and support of their people: Purpose to be a safe place and an aggregation space for the users. They worry for their future.
Freedom of speech: Quote of subjects like “free speech”, “freedom of expression”. Strong need to spread what they think.
Hateful Site: Use of hateful expressions. They don’t deny to spread hate.
Not an “hate site”: Clearly disassociate themselves from hate speech or offensive intentions.
Conversation Platform: Exchange of ideas
Constructive Criticism: Improve the world with practical actions.
For each site we defined the main typology of presentation encountered during the analysis. Sometimes in order to be more accurate and truthful we needed to report a second typology of presentation associated to the first one. Using the same texts we manually deduced the 9 tones of voices that characterized their statements. We discarded the possibility to use tools like IBM Tone Analyzer because the differences were too slight.