Emojis as Graphical Hate Speech Markers
Keywords: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.
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