← Volume 12: Challenges and Perspectives of Hate Speech Research


Dark Participation

Conception, reception, and extensions

Thorsten Quandt & Johanna Klapproth

Berlin, 2023
DOI 10.48541/dcr.v12.15 (SSOAR)

Abstract: While the new possibilities of online participation were initially described and analyzed from a mainly optimistic perspective, more recent work in communication studies draws a rather bleak picture of the state of communication in today’s online world. The concept of “dark participation” (Quandt, 2018) picks up on this profound change of perspective. In addition to the systematization of negative participatory forms, the concept was also used as a rhetorical device to comment on the change in scientific perspective: the original publication was primarily meant as a call for balance in the analysis of online participation—something that was often neglected in the subsequent debate. Based on a brief summary of the core ideas and the context of the original publication, the current paper revisits the concept of dark participation by discussing its reception and potential extensions. Furthermore, a reassessment of its value and the limitations for analyzing (negative) forms of online participation is presented vis-à-vis related concepts.


Thorsten Quandt is Professor of Online Communication at the University of Münster, Germany. ORCID logo

Johanna Klapproth is a communication scientist at the University of Münster, Germany.

Quandt, T., & Klapproth, J. (2023). Dark participation: Conception, reception, and extensions. In C. Strippel, S. Paasch-Colberg, M. Emmer, & J. Trebbe (Eds.), Challenges and perspectives of hate speech research (pp. 251–270). Digital Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.48541/dcr.v12.15

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