Asian Americans and Black Americans saw significant increases in online hatred last year, according to a new report, despite recent steps social media companies have taken to address bullying.
A poll released Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate speech organization founded in 1913, found that in 2020 Asian Americans experienced the largest increase in hate and severe online harassment year-over-year by comparison. with other groups. with 17% reporting experiencing sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats, hitting, doxing, or sustained harassment, compared to 11% last year.
The poll’s release comes as the Asian-American community grapples with a rise in violence in the real world, most recently the murders of six Asian women working in massage parlors in Georgia and a 75-year-old man from Hong Kong. who died after being robbed. and assaulted by a man who, according to police, had a history of victimizing elderly Asians. Stop AAPI Hate, a group dedicated to tracking crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, documented 3,800 incidents related to hatred against Asian Americans in 2020.
“Not surprisingly, after a year in which national figures, including the president himself, used to scapegoat China and the Chinese people for spreading the coronavirus, Asian Americans experienced higher levels of online harassment, just like they did it offline, “said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO. of the Anti-Defamation League.
The study also noted an increase in hate speech against other minority groups, including African Americans, who saw a sharp rise in harassment based on race, a different category from the record rise for Asians, from 42% last year to last year. 59% this year. That leap came as protests over the murder of Black Americans, sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others in 2020, put America’s anti-black racism in the forefront once again.
For the third year in a row, LGBTQ + respondents reported higher rates of overall bullying than all other demographics, and 64% said they had been bullied online because of their identities.
Minorities are undoubtedly disproportionately affected by online hatred. The study also found that nearly half of all Americans (41%) have experienced online bullying. The ADL says the survey showed that despite the apparent bombardment of self-regulation by tech companies, including Facebook’s initiative to ban Holocaust denial, militia organizing and high-profile providers of hate speech, including Donald Trump, the level of online hate and harassment reported has risen. hardly changed compared to reports from a year ago.
“It has become increasingly clear that on their own, tech companies are not effectively stopping hate and extremism from proliferating online,” Greenblatt said.
American adults who were bullied indicated they experienced the most bullying on Facebook (75%), followed by Twitter (24%), Instagram (24%), and YouTube (21%).
As part of the study, the ADL has promoted specific reforms to social media policies, including increasing legal protections for online harassment targets and ensuring that platforms establish and enforce anti-hate policies at scale and allow external organizations audit them.
The organization has also promoted the reform of Section 230, part of the Communications Decency Act that has become a lightning rod for both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. The law protects social platforms from legal liability for content posted on the platforms, which, according to some, frees them too easily from the spread of harmful content.
The report comes as CEOs of major tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, will appear in front of Congress to address the spread of hate speech and disinformation on their platforms. The hearing will mark the fourth time in the past year that some of the executives have had to appear before lawmakers, amid an unprecedented push to regulate big tech.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism