Russian Digital Media Exposed for Concealing Racial Slurs in Slang


  • Ukrainian startup uncovers hidden racial slurs in Russian digital media targeting minorities.
  • AI links derogatory language to political events, like insults towards Ukraine and Poland.
  • Findings highlight the urgency of tackling online hate speech for a more inclusive internet.

In a concerning revelation, a Ukrainian startup utilizing AI technology has uncovered a disturbing trend of racial slurs embedded within Russian digital media. The startup Osavul, which specializes in analyzing information threats, conducted a comprehensive survey across various online platforms, revealing a proliferation of derogatory language targeting neighboring countries, immigrants, and national minorities.

AI unveils disturbing trend

Osavul’s cross-platform analysis encompassed over 5,000 messages from prominent social media platforms, including Facebook, X, Telegram, and VK, shedding light on the prevalence of hidden racial epithets. These insults, strategically woven into Russian slang, serve to mask negative sentiments towards minorities and immigrants, even extending to the usage by Kremlin officials.

The most prevalent term identified by Osavul’s AI was “foreign specialist” (инностранный специалист), employed ironically to undermine the credentials and expertise of migrants. Such linguistic camouflage effectively conceals underlying racial and ethnic biases within Russian society, as remarked by Andrew Bevz, the startup’s chief marketing officer.

Political overtones and linguistic discrimination

Notably, Osavul’s research exposed a correlation between the emergence of these slurs and ongoing political events. Neighboring states, portrayed as rebellious provinces and traitors in Russian neo-imperial discourse, were frequent targets of derogatory language. For instance, substituting “on Ukraine” for “in Ukraine” subtly undermines the nation’s sovereignty, insinuating it is not truly independent.

Poland emerged as a recurring subject of denigration, with the AI system flagging the derogatory term “psheks,” mimicking a common Polish sound. This slur witnessed a surge in usage following its endorsement by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Telegram. However, its prevalence waned after Poland blockaded Ukrainian grain imports, indicating a correlation between political developments and linguistic discrimination.

Mitigating online hostility

While the revelations unearthed by Osavul are alarming, they underscore the importance of addressing hidden prejudices within digital media. The proliferation of racial slurs not only perpetuates harmful stereotypes but also contributes to the normalization of discrimination and hostility towards minorities and immigrants.

The findings by Osavul serve as a stark reminder of the insidious nature of online hate speech and the urgent need for comprehensive measures to combat it. By leveraging AI technology to identify and expose concealed racial slurs, stakeholders can work towards fostering a more inclusive and respectful online environment. 

It is imperative for digital platforms, policymakers, and society at large to actively confront and dismantle the linguistic barriers that perpetuate discrimination and division. Through collective action, we can only strive towards a truly equitable and harmonious digital landscape.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.


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James Kinoti

A crypto enthusiast, James finds pleasure in sharing knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. The latest innovations in the crypto industry, crypto gaming, AI, blockchain technology, and other technologies are his preoccupation. His mission: be on track with transformative applications in various industries.

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