Local Cooperating Associations
Cristina Bosco (p.i.)
Immigrants, Hate and Prejudice in Social Media
Anti-immigration attitudes frequently fuels the spread of hate expressions in the variety of media exploited nowadays. Like a mirror of the political choices, of attitudes of the population and feeling encoded in the collective memory of a nation, categories and words exploited for defining migrants are coined and used by humans when faced with the challenges represented by immigration. They are relevant for determining who is migrant and for classifying different forms of migrants to be related to different positions in society, often to be fossilized in prejudices. Language is crucial for determining boundaries among groups and minorities, to confer them specific social roles, rights and opportunities, in practice to describe migrants as others, as outsiders of our society, often as dangerous and unwanted people notwithstanding their real nature. But, on the other hand, language can also be exploited by immigrants to react to the challenges of integration in a different society. Starting from the relevance of language in the immigration phenomena and the huge variety of linguistic data available as digital traces, the main objective of the project is the development of computational tools for accessing and analyzing small and big data from different social media to acquire a deeper knowledge about anti-immigration attitudes, related to prejudices and hate speech. The final aim is twofold: i) Transforming analyzed data in actionable knowledge for the territorial entities which work in raising awareness about discrimination and taking action against it. Acmos, Piazza dei Mestieri and Babelica are the local entities we involved in the project in order to guarantee synergy and concrete impact on territory. ii) Democratizing data, by improving their accessibility for all citizens and opening new opportunities of improvement in the quality of life through evidence-based decision making. The acquisition of a wider knowledge about immigration is a prerequisite to prevent and reduce prejudice against foreign peoples and resistance to their integration in a territory like our region, considered as the case study for the project.