Online Hate and Political Activist Groups

Frederick Blakemore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Dissemination of anti-Islamic feelings has grown into a sophisticated movement spanning most of the developed democratic countries of the world during the decade to 2013 (Pupcenoks and McCabe 2013). The growth of this populist movement coincides with the growth in these countries of the internet as a means of living and expressing social feelings and enjoying social interaction. This chapter will consider online hate and political groups having members who are associated with expressing anti-Muslim sentiments online. Online hate is often referred to as ‘trolling’ and many cases of this expression of hate are reported by the media. Trolls may have many motivations including: to entertain themselves or others, an emotional impulse to express their feelings or to advance a political point of view (Bishop 2012a, 2012b). Persaud (2014) found a ‘unique constellation’ of ‘manipulativeness, sadism and psychopathy’, in trolls (see Chapter 6 for more on the psychological aspects of hate). Various examples of online hate in Britain are shown in Table 4.1 below. The punishment given to those convicted of trolling has been inconsistent and using different aspects of UK legislation, some of which predates the cyber communications and social media age. Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters addressed not punishment but prosecution and stated that; ‘unless a specific threat to a specific person is made the Criminal Justice System will not respond’ (Metro 2013: 1). More recently the UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling suggested quadrupling the sentence for internet trolls convicted for posting abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media to a term of up to two years in prison (Spence 2014).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIslamophobia in Cyberspace
Subtitle of host publicationHate Crimes Go Viral
EditorsImran Awan
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3171-1206-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4724-5809-4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2016


  • Terrorism
  • Hate crime
  • extremism
  • Violence


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