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Publication: Döring, N. M., & Mohseni, M. R. (2020). Gendered hate speech in YouTube and YouNow comments: Results of two content analyses. Studies in Communication and Media 9 (1), 64-91. DOI: 10.5771/2192-4007-2020-1-64
Objective: Online hate speech in general, and gendered online hate speech in particular,
have become an issue of growing concern both in public and academic discourses. However,
although YouTube is the most important social media platform today and the popularity
of social live streaming services (SLSS) such as Twitch, Periscope and YouNow is
constantly growing, research on gendered online hate speech on video platforms is scarce.
Methods: To bridge this empirical gap, two studies investigated gendered online hate speech in video
comments on YouTube and YouNow, thereby systematically replicating a study by Wotanis
and McMillan (2014). Study 1 investigated YouTube in the form of a content analysis of
N = 8,000 publicly available video comments that were addressed towards four pairs of
female and male German-speaking YouTubers within the popular genres Comedy, Gaming,
HowTo & Style, and Sports [Fitness]. Study 2 examined YouNow, with a quantitative content
analysis of N = 6,844 publicly available video comments made during the video
streams of 16 female and 14 male popular German-speaking YouNowers.
Results: Study 1 successfully replicated the findings of Wotanis and McMillan (2014) that compared to male You-
Tubers, female YouTubers received more negative video comments (including sexist, racist,
and sexually aggressive hate speech) (H1a). In addition, they received fewer positive video
comments regarding personality and video content but more positive video comments regarding
physical appearance (H2a). Study 2 partly confirmed the earlier findings: It found
that, compared to male YouNowers, the video comments received by female YouNowers
were more sexist and sexually aggressive, but not generally more hostile or negative (H1b).
They received more positive video comments regarding their physical appearance but did
not receive fewer positive video comments regarding their personality or the content of
their videos (H2b). With some exceptions, the findings of study 2 were comparable to the
findings of study 1 (RQ1).
Discussion: In both studies, most effect sizes were small. Overall, females on
the video platforms YouTube and YouNow seem to be disproportionately affected by both
hostile and benevolent sexism expressed in viewer comments. The results are in line with
the Expectation States Theory and the Ambivalent Sexism Theory. The total number of
public hate comments was probably underestimated because inappropriate comments can
be deleted by moderators and users. Future research directions and practical implications