How Social Media, Bots Amplify Islamophobia Online

How Social Media, Bots Amplify Islamophobia Online
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In August 2021, a Facebook ad campaign criticizing Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the United States' first Muslim congresswomen, came under intense scrutiny. Critics charged that the ads linked the congresswomen with terrorism, and some faith leaders condemned the campaign as "Islamophobic" -- that is, spreading fear of Islam and hatred against Muslims. This was hardly the first time the pair faced Islamophobic or racist abuse, especially on the internet. As a communications professor who studies the politics of race and identity online, I have seen that Omar is often a target of white nationalist attacks on Twitter.

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