The Hate Speech on Instagram: An Analysis of Famous Women in Spain

(El discurso de odio en Instagram: un análisis de las mujeres famosas en España)

  • Alba Cividanes-Álvarez Universidade de Vigo
  • Xabier Martínez Rolán University of Vigo
Keywords: hate speech, online harassment, women, Instagram


The discourse of hate against women is widely documented in literature. However, the impact of new technologies of communication and information from a gender perspective is an issue that is often overlooked.

This study analyzed cyberbullying against women on the Instagram platform in order to understand the behaviors of users (men, women and fake accounts) on the social network under study.  Secondarily, the most frequent defamations carried out against women were observed.

To develop the search, a total of 8 female personalities belonging to four different categories at the professional level were chosen: politics, communication, sports and business; all their publications and comments on Instagram were studied between November 2021 and April 2022.

A total of 393 publications and 61,703 comments were compiled. Instagram only allowed reading 89.33% of the total comments. According to the corresponding category for each woman, large differences were observed in the total insults gathered.

In general, 1,144 insults and other insidious expressions were counted, representing 2.08% of readable comments. Two ways of insulting are collected: directly (76.75%) and indirectly (23.25%).

There is clear evidence of the presence of hate speech on Instagram. Therefore, further research is required, with well-designed trials, to assess the scope of the antifeminist movement on social media


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