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‘I am not a racist, but …’

The phenomenon of hate comments on refugees in Germany and how to deal with them

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Abstract

The so-called refugee crisis of 2015 has changed the volume and content of hate comments on social media and the comments sections of German broadcasters and newspapers. ‘I’m not a racist, but …’ – with this phrase usually being followed by a racist remark, a prejudiced statement or an accusation against media or politicians, it has created a toxic atmosphere that poses a huge barrier for the successful integration of refugees in Germany. The domestic intelligence service noted in its latest report that there was a ‘complete disappearance of inhibitions’ in social networks, with refugees, politicians and volunteers being dehumanised and threatened. This essay looks at the phenomenon of hate comments more closely and discusses how media and society should deal with it. How does it affect the relationship between the political establishment, the media and the people? What should journalists and social media such as Facebook and Twitter do? And when should legal authorities step in?

Keywords

  • Asylum Seeker
  • Hate Speech
  • Mainstream Medium
  • Public Service Broadcaster
  • Refugee Crisis

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-17011-0_11
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Sinram, J. (2017). ‘I am not a racist, but …’. In: Jünemann, A., Scherer, N., Fromm, N. (eds) Fortress Europe?. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-17011-0_11

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