The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 12, No 1 (2024)

From London Bridge to the Finsbury Park Mosque: humour and hate crimes

Nikita Lobanov


The former Twitter (now called ‘X’) is a social media platform characterized by an intense exchange of posts by users on political themes. These posts can indicate the evolution of a social phenomenon around a pivotal event. The overarching theme of this paper is to observe and examine the posts of Twitter users following the London Bridge terror attack on June 3rd, 2017, and following another attack against the Finsbury Park Mosque on June 19th of the same month.  By means of a content analysis of a robust database of posts collected from the Twitter platform I was able to observe the reactions of radical right users during the attacks and reflect upon how hate was played out in terms of language and emotions. Despite the inevitable violence of these attacks, I detected the presence of humour in tweets as well as remarks that were predictably characterized by both physical and moral disgust. All tweets examined displayed at least one of Haidt’s Moral Foundations. My hypothesis is that humour too is a moral phenomenon which can exaggerate human behaviour.


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