ABSTRACT

Chapter Three explores the manner in which knowledge of Brazil’s history can inform understandings of contemporary mediated hate. During colonial times, Portugal and other European colonial powers systematically extracted resources, expropriated and murdered Indigenous peoples and ran a brutal system of chattel slavery. More recently, military dictatorships suppressed civil rights and murdered dissenters while furthering US corporate interests until the establishment of a democratic government in the late 1980s. Examined against this historical backdrop, the experiences of Indigenous, Afro-Brazilian, leftist and LGBTQIA citizens and activists with hateful content, violence and discrimination on social media are starkly connected to historical marginalisation and dehumanisation. The chapter demonstrates how both systematic and individual cultures of online hate stem from a legacy of racism, misogyny and socially conservative, authoritarian Christianity. The chapter concludes by examining the strategies for survival, the mental tenacity and hope that interviewees evince to cope when technical and legal solutions to hate fail.