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James Hawdon, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech, USA, has spent many years studying online hate, including hate speech and other forms of cyberviolence. His work has examined how hate speech gets produced, how the hate groups and individuals that produce it become radicalised, how it spreads across the internet, what effects it has upon its producers and the targets of their hate, as well as what societies can to do to prevent it.

Extremism is as old as civilisation, but those advocating hate can now spread their ideas more widely using the Internet. Billions of users now take part in a global flow of information and many nations, such as China, now try to restrict this potent flow as they see it as a political or cultural rival to orthodox power structures. …

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