Hate speech on the net - new forsa figures published

Hate speech online remains a problem for society as a whole. Its perception increased from 2016 to 2018. Hate speech is encountered more frequently than average in the 14 to 24 age group. 94 percent of young respondents say they have already experienced hate speech online.

For the fifth time, around 1,000 people aged 14 and over who use the Internet privately were surveyed on behalf of the State Media Authority NRW. The results of the forsa Hate Speech 2020 survey show that there have been significant developments in the 14 to 24 age group over the past five years. This age group is most affected by hate speech and states with above-average frequency that they have reported hate comments. Whereas five years ago only 34 percent of respondents had ever reported a hate comment, by 2020 this figure had risen to 67 percent.

A total of 38 percent of respondents state that hate comments are more frequent online than factual expressions of opinion. Among 14- to 24-year-olds, as many as 50 percent are of this opinion. At the same time, only one percent of respondents say they have already spread hate speech (5 percent in the 14- to 24-year-old age group).

At the same time, however, horror at hate comments is also on the decline in this age group. Around 65 percent of respondents thought engaging with hate speech was a waste of time (2016: 47 percent), and around 50 percent were not interested at all (2016: 27%). However, a quarter of 14- to 24-year-olds frequently engaged with hate comments because they find them entertaining. In other age groups, the proportion is lower at 16 percent.

The results of the study show that hate speech on the Internet is a weighty and increasingly relevant topic for young adults. Raising awareness at an early stage can help young people develop a clear stance and effective counter-strategies. At klicksafe topic area Hate Speech you will find extensive information and numerous materials for working on this topic with children and young people.

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