Undergraduate Students and Faculty Members Research Hate Speech With a Grant From FaceBook

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 4, 2020) — A pair of Kennesaw State University researchers and their undergraduate students are examining hate speech and imagery on social media using funding from a grant they received from Facebook.

“Social media can be powerful in shaping people’s attitudes,” according to Burton Speakman, coordinator of the Journalism and Emerging Media major and assistant professor of communication. “That’s why this kind of project is so important.”

The proposal, submitted by Anisah Bagasra, assistant professor of psychology, and Speakman, was one of only 20 selected out of the 200 proposals submitted to the social media giant from around the world.

Two undergraduate students have been collecting information and analyzing data for the project “Identifying and Examining Islamophobic Speech and Imagery” under the guidance of the researchers.

“We’re excited to offer research opportunities to our undergraduate students because we believe that it enhances their ability to think critically,” Bagasra said.

Accompanying video produced by Chasity McDuffie and Moriah Barnes, students in KSU’s Music and Entertainment Business program.