The main goal of this interdisciplinary project is to better understand the user-related mechanism of why and how hateful content is able to linger as a latent part of viral social media content.
We expect our results to answer key questions about the spread of racist visual, textual, auditive, and foremost audiovisual messages in viral TikTok trends from the perspective of user behavior and motivation rather than through data-driven models.
Our review of academic literature with a content analysis of TikTok phenomena (AIM 1) will provide a unique and universal list of attributes that indicate racist content in social media videos and hence provide an analytical set to research other online platforms.
Our quantitative and qualitative data exploration (AIMS 2 & 3) will
(a) generate data sets of TikTok video trends that provide more detailed insights into racist viral content and
(b) inform strategies aimed at reducing the spread of racist content on social media.
We will widely disseminate these results to youth-oriented contexts (e.g., schools, after-school programming, community centers) so as to raise awareness of how racial biases can operate in in-person and online settings.
Results from these scientific inquiries will culminate in a pilot curriculum (AIM 4) that helps youth become more responsible members of their online social community by bolstering their ability to recognize, reduce, and report racist social media content.