2018 Was A Record Year For Online Hate and Harassment
Photo Credit: AfroTech

2018 Was A Record Year For Online Hate and Harassment

If logging on to Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platforms in the past year may have felt draining, you’re most likely not imagining it.

Facebook became a cesspool for online harassment in 2018, a new survey from the Anti-Defamation League shows. More than half (56%) of the survey’s respondents said they experienced hate through Facebook. Twitter and YouTube clocked in at 19 percent and 17 percent respectively for survey participants saying they were harassed on the platforms.

Photo: Anti-Defamation League

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 32 percent of Americans reported that the harassment they received was because of their sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, gender identity or disability.

Twitter has updated its community standards, while YouTube is now working to alter features on its products to curtail some of the negative behavior. Earlier this month, YouTube announced that it is working on ways to stop “dislike campaigns” on videos by large online groups. In November, Twitter expanded its hateful speech policies to prohibit dehumanizing speech.

ADL’s report also shows American’s outlook on the impact of hate speech online. Nearly 60 percent of respondents believe that online harassment is making hate crimes off the internet more common. Another 50 percent, believe that online abuse is increasing the use of derogatory language.

As social media platforms continue to expand their policies to deal with the influx of cyberbullying and harassment, it is crucial for users to find their own way to cope by reporting the abuse or taking a break from the platforms.