Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 25–39 | Cite as

Social capital and online hate production: A four country survey

  • Markus Kaakinen
  • Pekka Räsänen
  • Matti Näsi
  • Jaana Minkkinen
  • Teo Keipi
  • Atte Oksanen


Hateful, threatening or degrading content has become a common part of today’s online interactions. However, little is known about the people who produce such content. This study analyzes online hate content production and its associations with cognitive indicators of social capital in both offline and online social networks. The data are derived from American, Finnish, German and British Internet users aged 15–30 (N = 3,565). Measures included questions concerning online hate, social capital and contextual control variables. The results indicate that hate content production is rare overall, despite its high visibility, and is related to social capital in two key ways. First, respondents with high social capital in offline social networks were less likely to produce hate content, and second, high social capital in online networks was associated with a higher probability of production.



This work was supported by the Kone Foundation under grant for the Hate Communities: A Cross-National Comparison Project (2013–2016).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Department of Social ResearchUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (Krimo)University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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