In the name of <3 explores the use of the heart symbol in the context of social media and the propagation of hate speech. In parallel, it questions the benefits of a rising discourse of love in nationalist propaganda from far-right movements, often hiding racist and sexist ideologies.
The heart is often described as a universal symbol for love, yet its history suggests otherwise: it is closer to a corporate and political medium, embedded with contemporary imbalances of class, gender, and race. The benign and seemingly innocent heart symbol hides a much more complex story than its surface suggests. Within the context of online forums and social media platforms the heart symbol is often used for the propagation of hate speech. There is also a rising discourse of love within nationalist propaganda from both new and existing far-right movements and parties, often hiding racist and sexist ideologies under the guise of love.
Through a historical, technological, and political lens this project wishes to reveal the problematics surrounding the heart symbol. Delving into issues such as the unknown origins of the symbol, (digital) colonialism, data capitalization and censorship avoidance, In the name of <3 tries to show the shallowness of a symbol that is supposed to be full of love.