Online Hate Speech: A Survey on Personal Experiences and Exposure Among Adult New Zealanders

42 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2018

See all articles by Edgar Pacheco

Edgar Pacheco

Victoria University of Wellington

Neil Melhuish

Netsafe, New Zealand

Date Written: November 5, 2018


Online hate speech has been a topic of public concern and research interest for some time. Initially the focus of this centred on the proliferation of online groups and websites promoting and distributing discriminatory content. Since the introduction of more interactive tools and platforms in the mid-2000s that enabled new and faster ways of disseminating content in a relatively anonymous fashion, concerns about online hate speech becoming a pervasive behavior have increased.

Current research and analysis acknowledge the complex nature of online hate, the mediating role of technology and the influence of other contextual factors (e.g. social or political events). However, despite the growing attention on the topic, New Zealand-based research looking at personal experiences and/or exposure to online hate is surprisingly absent. This study seeks to address this gap. It builds on existing international research on young people’s experiences to explore those of the adult New Zealand population based on a nationally representative sample. The research instrument used for this study was an online survey. The survey was administered by Colmar Brunton in June 2018. The maximum margin of error for the whole population is ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The sample is representative of the wider population on key demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, and location.

Keywords: Hate Speech, Cyberhate, Hate Crime, Social Media, Internet, New Zealand, Survey, Quantitative Research, Online Victimization, Hate Speech Exposure, Online Extremism

Suggested Citation

Pacheco, Edgar and Melhuish, Neil, Online Hate Speech: A Survey on Personal Experiences and Exposure Among Adult New Zealanders (November 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Edgar Pacheco (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://

Neil Melhuish

Netsafe, New Zealand ( email )

PO Box 124
Shortland St
Auckland, 1140
New Zealand


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