How dare you call her a pig, I know several pigs who would be upset if they knew A multimodal critical discursive approach to online misogyny against UK MPs on YouTube
On the occasion of the 2017 UK election campaign, Amnesty International conducted a large-scale, sentiment-based analysis of online hate speech against women MPs on Twitter (Dhrodia 2018), identifying the Top 5 most attacked women MPs as Diane Abbott, Joanna Cherry, Emily Thornberry, Jess Phillips and Anna Soubry. Taking Amnesty International's results as a starting point, this paper investigates online misogyny against the Top 5 women MPs, with a specific focus on the video-sharing platform YouTube, whose loosely censored cyberspace is known as a breeding ground for antagonism, impunity and disinhibition (Pihlaja 2014), and, therefore, merits investigation. By collecting and analysing a corpus of YouTube multimodal data we explore, critique and contextualize online misogyny as a techno-social phenomenon applying a Social Media Critical Discourse Studies (SM-CDS) approach (KhosraviNik and Esposito 2018). Mapping a vast array of discursive strategies, this study offers an in-depth analysis on how technology-facilitated gender-based violence contributes to discursively constructing the political arena as a fundamentally male-oriented space, and reinforces stereotypical and sexist representation of women in politics and beyond.