ABSTRACT

Chapter Five focuses on history, contemporary politics, and social media in the United Kingdom. Understandings of colonialism, imperialism and slavery, neoliberalism, the ‘war on terror’ and the UK’s continued involvement in global south geopolitics inform the chapter’s dissection of the online experiences, strategies and coping mechanisms of diverse recipients of hate. These key informants give overlapping accounts of political abuse, misogyny, anti-Blackness, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia and illustrate how the very real problem of antisemitism has been perversely deployed as a propagandist trope to silence and vilify social media users mildly critical of the state of Israel and its anti-Palestinian policies. Amidst a growing hostility towards outsiders (on the basis of political affiliation, nationality and/or colour of skin) brought about by the Brexit Leave campaign, and the denial of structural racism by the Conservative government, this chapter illustrates the extent to which othering-as-everyday-practice is deeply embedded in social media.