The Internet is a place where anonymity gives a veil of protection for social media users to spew racist language at will. A recent study found that as many as 10,000 such comments per day are uttered on the fast moving network of Twitter.
NBC News reported on the study conducted by United Kingdom think tank Demos, which filtered a batch of tweets to study the occurrences of racist or ethnic slurs across the vast universe of Twitter. NBC News has more.
From NBC News:
It’s no surprise that people say racist things on Twitter, especially with so many high-profile cases involving celebrities and famous athletes. But just how many tweets a day contain something racially insensitive?
About 10,000, according to U.K.-based think tank Demos. It used a filter to analyze 126,975 English-language tweets and then estimated that one in every 15,000 tweets contained a “racist or ethnic slur.”
Of those, anywhere between 47.5 percent and 70 percent were “non-derogatory” or used to “express in-group solidarity.” (Cutting out the term “white boy” reduced the total number of racially insensitive tweets in half).
However, it must be noted that the language used on Twitter isn’t necessarily pointed at individuals according to the researchers, but they do confirm that hate language is indeed being used.
“Even though racist, religious and ethnic slurs tend to be used in a non-derogatory way on Twitter, this does not mean that hate speech is not being used on this platform,” says one of the report’s authors. “Language does not require the use of slurs in order to be hateful.”
The study also highlighted that one in 55,000 tweets had some form of racial prejudice and that 10 percent of that number included what researchers called “casual” racial slurs.
To read the study in full, click here.