Say it to my face: Analysing hate speech against women on Twitter



Palabras clave:

Internet, Social networks, Social media, Twitter, Gender inequality, Hate speech, Sexism, Misogyny, Gender studies, Feminism, Content analysis, Public communication


The internet, and social media in particular, have become increasingly relevant as spaces for interaction and socialisation. The public sphere has shifted towards these platforms due their proliferation, uptake and the volume and intensity of the interactions they enable. In this apparently neutral virtual context, social media contribute to the construction or amplification of social relationships. The internet thus becomes a space of inequality where power relations and patriarchal practices are reproduced and amplified because of disinhibition deriving from anonymity. This paper analyses hate speech and misogyny in the Twitter conversations surrounding fifty Spanish women with a high profile both on- and offline in different professional fields: science, communication, culture, sports, business and politics. We performed an automated search for insults and hateful terms before analysing the direct interactions and indirect mentions that the women received on Twitter over the course of a year. The results of this study highlight the toxicity of the Twittersphere for female users: 15% of direct interactions and 10% of indirect interactions involving the women included some form of insult or abuse, although these were not necessarily sexist or misogynistic in nature. Women with greater visibility and social influence, such as those active in communication or politics, are most often targeted by this violence.


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Cómo citar

Piñeiro-Otero, T., & Martínez-Rolán, X. (2021). Say it to my face: Analysing hate speech against women on Twitter. Profesional De La Información, 30(5).



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