The Sounds of Silence: A Small-Scale Scoping Study on Self-Censorship Among Female Serbian Bloggers

Author(s): Marta Bojović
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender in Cyberspace
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Thomas Brorsen Smidt
online hate speech, self-censorship, misogyny, sexist discourse, bloggers


This research is conceived of as a small scoping study that explores the relationship between online hate speech and the tendency of Serbian female bloggers to self-censor. In the first part of the essay, the problems of defining hate speech and determining the difference between online and offline hate speech are considered, and the question as to whether hate speech should be protected as free speech is addressed. In order to explore the connection between hate speech and self-censorship, both thematic and critical discourse analysis is used to analyze data from a survey conducted with nine bloggers. Research results showed that the hate speech instances against them were the result of emotional states of the perpetrators, and as such, they were expected to be the carriers of emotional labour. The results also proved that even though the bloggers use self-censorship as a means of protecting themselves, they still receive hate comments. Although they expressed unwillingness to attach the label of victims onto them, they still recognized the importance of tackling the problem hate speech. The findings of this work provide new possibilities for future research on this topic.