Cyberhate: profiling of potential targets

Tshidi Manqola*, Malcolm Garbutt*, Jacques Ophoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cyberhate is defined as hatred expressed in online environments directed at groups and individuals based on their race, religious belief, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or gender. Cyberhate is a growing phenomenon, as it coincides with increased access to the Internet. This paper explores cyberhate awareness, observations, and experiences to present a profile of cyberhate victims using the Routine Activities Theory. Providing such a profile can raise awareness of at-risk targets and provide opportunities for intervention. A survey of 183 students at a large university provided insight into online user experiences. The research revealed links between awareness, observations, and experiences of cyberhate on various online platforms. While awareness of cyberhate was associated with frequent Internet and social media access, reported experiences of cyberhate were lower than anticipated. Males experienced higher levels of cyberhate in online games and news sites. Likewise, older students experienced higher levels of cyberhate on news sites, as did respondents with higher education levels who also experienced a higher level of cyberhate on chat sites. Daily users of social media experienced higher levels of cyberhate on such platforms. An interesting finding was a correlation between frequent online gaming and lower levels of empathy for victims. The findings show the complexity of defining a profile for cyberhate targets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolving human and organizational practices in the intelligent age
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 2020 Conf-IRM conference
EditorsLech Janczewski, Annette Mills, Richard Klein
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780473525446
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2020
Event2020 International Conference on Information Resources Management: Evolving Human and Organizational Practices in the Intelligent Age - Virtual symposium
Duration: 28 May 202029 May 2020


Conference2020 International Conference on Information Resources Management
Abbreviated titleConf-IRM 2020
Internet address


  • Cyberhate
  • Cyberbullying
  • Victims
  • Targets
  • Profiling
  • Routine activities theory


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