Negotiating hate and conflict in online comments : Evidence from the NetLang corpus



Year of publication 2023
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Description The chapter seeks to identify how conflict is negotiated within the architecture of discussion forums on online news sites. First, it delimits the relation between the cluster of related concepts ranging from anti-social discourse, hate and aggressive speech, to conflict talk. It adopts a sociopragmatic conception of conflict talk as a multi-dimensional phenomenon with several key elements (structure, form, interaction, meaning) and draws on a framework of discursive strategies that serve to express conflict. Using data on body shaming and physical impairments from the NETLANG corpus, it documents how commenters deploy conflicting representations, enter into extended conflictual discussions and escalate the mutual conflict, while gradually shifting from idea-oriented to person-oriented strategies. The findings indicate, among other aspects, that conflict in talk can be accompanied by strategies seeking to delegitimise the other, while it simultaneously solidifies the unity of the ingroup.
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