SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

The Online Hate Network around Lokman Slim: One Year Later

Thursday , 10 February 2022

On February 3, 2022, on the first anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese intellectual, researcher and political activist Lokman Slim, the Samir Kassir Foundation’s SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom published a post on its social media accounts commemorating him and his work. Our team further examined the interactions on the post itself, categorizing comments and responses in the following ways:

  • “in favor of Lokman Slim;” “critical of Lokman Slim;” and “neutral”
  • “containing hate speech” versus “not containing hate speech”.

 

Accordingly, the published posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were monitored for three days, with a focus on comments by these pages’ audience. A sample of of 159 comments were examined in this interval of time.






As an overall examination, it seems that while the comments in favor of Lokman Slim have primarily centered on praise for his work and courage, or mere condolences to his family (21.4% of the total), a few have revolved around blanket and generalized statements targeting Hezbollah supporters (1.9% of the total). Nevertheless, the far more alarming comments were made by Slim’s “critics,” who primarily utilized a combination of graphic slurs, accusations of treason, and quite intrusive remarks about his personal life and the “women” in his life (57.2% of the total). Only very few critical interactions maintained a relatively balanced approach to the subject (3.8% of the total).

 

While one can hardly make conclusions from interactions put forth on one post, this observation further reinforced the conclusions made in SKF’s prior report by Dr. Nasri Messarra on the online hate network surrounding Lokman Slim, which centered on an analysis of hateful tweets both pre- and post-assassination. The conclusion established in the detailed report sustains itself, proving “the existence of cluster networks, led by proponents of Hezbollah, painting a deliberate image of Lokman Slim as at best insignificant and, at worst, deserving of his ‘fate’ due to his alleged ties with Israel.”

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