International anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label announces findings of a major study of cyberbullying and hate speech online to coincide with anti-bullying week on Monday November 14, 2016.
Ditch the Label has partnered with leading social intelligence company Brandwatch, evaluating 19 million tweets from the US and the UK over the span of four years in order to better understand the current climate of cyberbullying and hate speech online.
The report looks at who is most likely to send abuse, who is most likely to receive it, when people are most likely to experience cyberbullying, topics most likely to precede it and how best to respond to it.
- Politics is the topic most likely to receive bullying remarks, followed by topics relating to sport and food.
- You are most likely to experience cyberbullying on Twitter between 5pm-8pm on a Sunday.
- Racist language was the most common form of hate speech on Twitter. Of the 19 million tweets analysed according to specific search terms, over 7.7m tweets featured racially insensitive language. Men sent 59% of these.
- Misogynist tweets were the second most common form of hate speech with 3m of analysed tweets featuring misogynistic comments. 52% of these were sent by women. Tweets about what it means to be a man, homophobia and transphobia also featured largely.
- Sports fans are over-represented in bullying tweets, as are executives. By contrast, teachers and scientists, as well as those interested in politics and environmental issues, are less likely to participate in online hate speech.
- Female trolls tended to use insults relating to intelligence (dumb, stupid), appearance (fat, ugly), and derogatory animal terms (bitch, chicken), while males were more likely to use homophobic insults.
- Responding to people who troll escalates the conflict. Research found that responding to bullying tweets escalated the conflict in 44% of cases, compared with only 3% of positive outcomes.
A full version of the report can be found here.