Kennesaw State professors launch social media research

Interdisciplinary undergraduate project examines hate speech online

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 10, 2019) — A pair of Kennesaw State University researchers are developing a new study examining hate speech and imagery on social media using funding from a grant they received from Facebook.

The proposal submitted by Anisah Bagasra, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Burton Speakman, Assistant Professor of Communication, was one of only 20 selected out of the 200 proposals submitted to the social media giant. Kennesaw State is the only university in Georgia to earn a Facebook grant this year.

A team of seven undergraduate students will work on the project – “Identifying and Examining Islamophobic Speech and Imagery” – under the guidance of the researchers, which will involve spending a year collecting and analyzing data gathered from Facebook. Students will be trained on what language and imagery to look for that contribute to hate speech online and learn how to identify it.

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