Online hate is a ‘wicked problem’ in the truest sense: it is difficult to define, knowledge is incomplete and contradictory, solutions are not straightforwardly ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and it is interconnected with many other problems in society. Good scientific research can help to address these wicked problems but, for too long, those on the frontlines in the fight against online hate (including civil society advocates, policymakers, regulators and politicians) have not fully benefited from academic research. This situation urgently needs to be rectified so that academic expertise is leveraged to better inform how online hate is tackled, its effects minimised and support provided to victims.
Through interviews and discussions with a range of stakeholders, as well as events and workshops, literature surveys and new empirical research, researchers at The Alan Turing Institute’s Public Policy Programme have developed a six-point research agenda. This is intended as one step towards achieving the goal of policy-oriented and problem-driven academic research into online hate.
This work was supported by Wave 1 of The UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund under the EPSRC Grant EP/T001569/1, particularly the “Criminal Justice System” theme within that grant and The Alan Turing Institute.