How to deal methodologically with Entertaining Hatred and Aggressive Humour on the Web (and Television)

Axel Schmidt


The mass media and mediated interpersonal communication have seen the development of a bizarre popular culture, one decidedly preoccupied with hatred and revenge. It was in the early 1980s that so-called hate sites first intersected Internet communication and were declared "an." Hate communication, noted at that time for its group anonymity, has become an everyday occurrence, individualized and personalized on Web 2.0 sites like MySpace or YouTube: Individual players do their hating in an openly and readily identifiable manne1-. The normal setting for this aggressive form of audio-visual entertainment can be recognized in its aggressive sense of humor, which is currently common in the dominant medium of television (as one example: Stefan Raab's German television show TV total). Using the pop group Tokio Hotel as an example of (anti-)fan communication, such bare communication transmitted by the media will be shown as navel-gazing and "image work" as part of the ritual communication of young people ("face work"), which, not least of all, inquires into the significance of fictional activities on tbe Web with regard to the real life actions of people (problematic side- effects, problems wirb compartmentalization). This contribution also attempts to clarify bow to deal methodologically with different forms and styles of media communication respectively media products.


hatred and aggression; humor; impression management and mediated interaction; youth culture; visual communication; Internet and YouTube; conversational analysis; methodological framework for communicative research.

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