It’s hard to go anywhere online without seeing hateful comments, and according to a new poll, 60 percent of young people believe it’s wrong to use racist or sexist slurs online even when people say they’re kidding.
Conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, over 1,200 people ages 14 to 24 were surveyed between September 27 and October 4.
Here were some of the most common targets for slurs:
- People overweight
However, while the majority of young people say using slurs online is wrong, when they see slurs, many are not offended.
This is likely due to being exposed to so much hate, and building up a tolerance to it.
“To be funny” or “to be cool” are two of the bigger reasons people post slurs online, and less than one third said that those posting slurs actually have hateful feelings towards who they are talking about.
According to the poll, young people are more likely to tell someone to stop saying hateful things face to face than on social media sites.
“Most of the time they’re just joking around, or talking about a celebrity,” Jeff Hitchins, a white 24-year-old in Springfield, Pa., said about the insulting references to blacks, women and gays that he encounters on the Vine and Instagram image-sharing sites. “Hate speech is becoming so commonplace, you forget where the words are coming from, and they actually hurt people without even realizing it.”
Teens and young adults have shifted in their thinking about racist or sexist slurs online, and only around 30 percent felt it was wrong in a 2011 poll.