The project analyses online racial hate speeches in Portugal. Acknowledging the need to develop research based on a critical theoretical body, the project is based on a qualitative methodology for analyzing virtual platforms. It is thus intended to monitor and problematize the narratives that sustain the propagation of hate speeches in the Portuguese context. The theoretical approach on which the research is based supports the idea that racism is not an epiphenomenon in Western and European history. On the contrary, it is precisely its structural character that created conditions for the consolidation and trivialization of openly racist discourses.


The project ‘Racism and Xenophobia in Portugal: normalization of hate speech online’, aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of this field of research in the Portuguese context. Unlike to what has been observed in European, North American and Brazilian academia, the research of racial hate speech in Portugal is considerably scarce, so one of the purposes of the present investigation is to stimulate the national scientific community, also seeking to involve civil society.


This report is the result of a critical analysis of racial and xenophobic hate speeches, produced and reproduced in the Portuguese digital context. The research is based, to a large extent, on a qualitative methodology of analysis of virtual platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the “comments’ text boxes” of two major national newspapers. In order to complement this qualitative analysis, the project team launched an online survey, having obtained 279 validated responses. From a comparative perspective with the pre-pandemic period, a set of strategies, counter-narratives and recommendations that can contribute to deconstruct, challenge and effectively combat racial hate speeches are elaborated.


Normalization of hate speech online


Project funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) within the scope of “Special support to research projects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hate crimes and violence and hate speech”, ref. 759209334.