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      Organised and Ambient Digital Racism: Multidirectional Flows in the Irish Digital Sphere

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          Abstract

          This article is concerned with the distinction between acceptable race talk in social media and organised, extreme or ‘frozen’ racism which is considered hate speech and removed. While in the literature this distinction is used to point to different variants, styles and mutations of racism, in social media platforms and in European regulatory frameworks it becomes policy. The empirical part of the article considers this distinction drawing upon a series of posts following a stabbing incident in a small Irish town, which organised Twitter accounts sought to connect to terrorism. The empirical analysis examines the tweets of those accounts and the comments left on the Facebook page and website of one of the main Irish online news outlets. The analysis shows few if any differences between the two, concluding that there is a blending of supremacist and everyday, ambient racist discourses. This blending indicates the operation of a transnational contagion, given the shared vocabularies and discourses. It further problematises the distinction between ‘illegal hate speech’ and ‘acceptable race talk’, and throws into question the principle underlying both the policies of social media as well as the European efforts to de-toxify the digital public sphere.

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          Most cited references 37

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          The Populist Radical Right: A Pathological Normalcy

           Cas Mudde (2010)
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            Race and racism in Internet Studies: A review and critique

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              From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation

               André Brock (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                08 February 2019
                2019
                : 5
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University College Dublin, IE
                Article
                10.16995/olh.405
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Right-wing populism and mediated activism: creative responses and counter-narratives

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