Using social media to understand and guide the treatment of racist ideology

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Karen R. Kaiser Dierich M. Kaiser Ryan M. Kaiser Arianna M. Rackham

Abstract

Social media, including sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, provides a platform for racist ideology, making this dysfunction of American society more evident. Social media can provide insight into the world of the racist—individuals who cling to their tribal identities, irrationally rejecting those who they perceive as different. Studying social media may provide insight into processes that can assist in healing American society of its segregationist views—a way toward healing the racist. The purpose of this paper is to analyse social media posts to better understand racism, its causality and to develop initial steps for addressing racist ideology. A qualitative review consisting of a content analysis of 600 American Facebook posts was completed to reveal patterns in cognition, problem-solving, personality structures, belief systems and coping styles. The content analysis consists of both a descriptive account of the data and an interpretive analysis.
Keywords: Racism, social media, violence, social conditioning, sexism, ageism, anti-semitism, able-bodyism, heterosexism, paranoia, Christianity, cluster B personality traits, clandestine.

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