Emojis as Graphical Hate Speech Markers


  • Sofiia Lazareva


emojis, hate speech, corpus linguistics, Russian social media


This article examines the functioning of emojis in a hate speech context. It investigates whether emojis are an independent mechanism of hate speech or if they serve as an auxiliary device. By this, I mean if emojis can constitute a hate speech message. A corpus containing hate speech from three different Russian social networks is analyzed: the Russian Toxic Comments corpus from Odnoklassniki and two self-collected corpora from Twitter and VK. The findings suggest that emojis do not function as a separate mechanism of hate speech, but are rather used to clarify the intended meaning of the message. The study also highlights that the usage of emojis is context-dependent, specifically in terms of whether the user is involved in a confrontation with another user.

Author Biography

Sofiia Lazareva

Sofiia Lazareva is currently doing her Master’s degree in Linguistics at Aarhus University. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, computer linguistics, and Internet linguistics.


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How to Cite

Lazareva, S. (2023). Emojis as Graphical Hate Speech Markers. Journal of Language Works - Sprogvidenskabeligt Studentertidsskrift, 8(1), 29–44. Retrieved from https://tidsskrift.dk/lwo/article/view/138019