Religion-Based User Generated Content in Online Newspapers Covering the Colectiv Nightclub Fire
The high degree of interactivity of the Internet, combined with the almost ubiquitous presence of forums on online media publications, has offered everybody the possibility to express their opinions and beliefs on websites. This paper uses content analysis to examine the religion-based comments that were posted on 8 Romanian mainstream news websites in reply to articles regarding a fire that broke out during a rock concert in Bucharest, killing over 50 people and injuring more than 100. The analysis also included the answers to these comments. Among the findings, we have discovered that the highest percentage of religion-based comments made some type of reference to Satanism and that very few of them expressed compassion towards the victims. On the other hand, counter-speech strategies managed to halt hate speech in almost half of the cases where they were employed. However, personal attacks against religion-based commentators were the most commonly used form of counter-speech, contributing to an unfriendly climate on the forums.
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