Recognizing and Tracking Online Hate
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 11:00 AM PT | 2:00 PM ET
Over its 2,000 years of existence, antisemitism has always changed and adapted to the historical and societal context. This adaptability has increased even more on the interactive web, which means that, today, we are confronted not only with a large conceptual arsenal of stereotypes, but also with a polyphony of communicative patterns with which Jew-hatred is shared online. In this talk, Dr. Matthias Becker will elaborate on his interdisciplinary and transnational project Decoding Antisemitism, which aims to develop tools for recognizing and tracking down various forms of online antisemitism, including its open and covert forms that exist in and circulate both in fringe communities as well as in mainstream discourse in Great Britain, Germany, and France. Becker will elaborate how this project establishes a recognition and tracking framework that can also be adapted for other geographies and by those working on other hate ideologies, including misogyny, racism, and homophobia.
Dr Matthias J. Becker
Matthias Becker leads the international research project “Decoding Antisemitism” at TU Berlin. Using a mixed methods approach that also incorporates AI-based methods, 15 researchers analyse antisemitism in mainstream discourse online in Germany, France, and in the UK.
Matthias studied Linguistics, Philosophy, and Literature at the Free University of Berlin, and has worked with several research projects on the use of language in political and media campaigns at the Technical University. His doctoral dissertation, published with Nomos in 2018, analyses the linguistic construction of national pride, antisemitic stereotypes and demonising historical analogies in British and German discourses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An English version of the book (with the title Antisemitism in Reader Comments: Analogies for Reckoning with the Past) was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.
His research combines pragma-linguistics, cognitive linguistics, (critical) discourse and media studies, research on prejudice and nationalism, as well as on social media studies. A consistent link between all his activities is the question of how implicit hate speech — apparently accepted within various milieus of the political mainstream — is constructed and what conditions its production is subject to.
Learn more about upcoming events in the Antisemitism Lecture Series.