Twitter campaigns attacking those who make racist or xenophobic statements are valuable, raising the public profile of opinions that will not tolerate racism in any form. They also indicate how our major institutions are failing to address important matters of social justice. But there is concern that social media, such as Twitter, tends to extremes, moral outrages, lack of nuance and incivility, which shape how issues become represented. In this paper, using Critical Discourse Analysis, we look at three Twitter hashtags calling-out racist behaviour. We ask how racism and anti-racism is represented on these hashtags? We show how these misrepresent fundamental aspects of racism in society, distracting from, what race theorists would argue, is the most important thing these incidents tell us about racism at this present time. The findings have consequences for all such Twitter social justice campaigns.
Journal: Discourse & Society issue 32 vol 3
Publisher: Sage Journals