Study: Online Hate Speech Up 20% During the Pandemic

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A recent study shows that online hate speech rose by 20% during the pandemic in the U.S. and U.K.

Youth charity Ditch the Label uncovered 50.1 million discussions revolving around racist hate speech, and further revelations showed that the spike was prevalent around major news events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests and the murder of Sarah Everard.

Liam Hackett, CEO of Ditch the Label, highlights the increase in hate speech and explains that people who are stuck indoors during the pandemic are creating fertile ground for this increase. “We already know from research that people who bully and troll genuinely may have low mental health, they may have trauma, they may be in an abusive household, they may be being targeted and bullied themselves.”

Liam went on to say that society has normalized online abuse, even if it shouldn’t, and while he supports the Government’s proposed Online Safety Bill, he believes more can be done to tackle the problem effectively, including better education for very young people.

For more information, read the original story in BBC.


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