The study draws from the ideas of Jürgen Habermas, Daniel Trotter and Christian Fuchs, Zizi
Papacharissis, Yochai Benkler and Christian Fuchs to investigate the use of social media as a
platform to express ideas against xenophobic-related attacks in South Africa (April 2015–May
2015). The data was collected from twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Most views came from
the Facebook platform called ‘Stop xenophobia’. Using ATLAS.ti, software for qualitative
research, the data was coded into interpretive variables or categories. The results show that
themes such as hospitality, morality, creation and ethics received highest frequency as reasons
to condemn xenophobia. The research further reveals that the social media data is much candid
in comparison to state controlled media, where views and ideas were censored to protect the
economic and public image of the country. Unlike the controlled government outlets which
focus on the possible correlation between xenophobic attacks to economic outlook, the social
media focuses on moral and ethical issues – issues that define our collective as human beings
and tackles xenophobia from the perspective of ethics and shared human values.
INTRADISCIPLINARY AND OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS : This study is interdisciplinary in
nature due to the use of theories in media studies and social sciences to investigate the use of
biblical themes in the fight against xenophobia.