Hate mail (as electronic, posted, or otherwise) is a form of harassment, usually consisting of invective and potentially intimidating or threatening comments towards the recipient. Hate mail often contains exceptionally abusive, foul or otherwise hurtful language.
The recipient may receive disparaging remarks concerning the subject's ethnicity, sexuality, religion, intelligence, political ideology, sense of ethics, or sense of aesthetics. The text of hate mail often contains profanity, or it may simply contain a negative, disappropriating message.
Forensic linguists have increasingly been called upon to identify authorship of hate mail. See for example 'Wordcrime' a case file series by John Olsson, UK forensic linguist, which details several cases.
-  The Forensic Linguistics Institute
- "The politics of geography: - hate mail, rabid referees, and culture wars" Political Geography, Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2001, pp. 1–12
- "'I Shoot Them with Words': An Analysis of Political Hate-Letters" British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 18, No. 4, October 1988, pp. 467–483
- "Jewish activists opposing the Israeli government's policies face intimidation and harassment via email and on the internet." Guardian Unlimited, 19 January 2004
- "Racist Hate Mail Found In Durham Mailboxes" WRAL-TV, 10 October 2006