Making America Hate Again? Twitter and Hate Crime Under Trump

49 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2018

Karsten Müller

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Carlo Schwarz

University of Warwick

Date Written: March 30, 2018

Abstract

Social media has come under increasing scrutiny for reinforcing people's pre-existing viewpoints which, it is argued, can create information "echo chambers." We investigate whether social media motivates real-life action, with a focus on hate crimes in the United States. We show that the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Donald Trump's presidential campaign has been concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. Consistent with a role for social media, Trump's Tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after, but not before the start of his presidential campaign, and are uncorrelated with other types of hate crimes. These patterns stand out in historical comparison: counties with many Twitter users today did not consistently experience more anti-Muslim hate crimes during previous presidencies.

Keywords: Trump, Hate Crimes, Twitter, Muslims

Suggested Citation

Müller, Karsten and Schwarz, Carlo, Making America Hate Again? Twitter and Hate Crime Under Trump (March 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3149103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3149103

Karsten Müller

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.karstenmueller.eu

Carlo Schwarz (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.carloschwarz.eu

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