Negative Social Media Comments on Plus Sized Models Make Abuse From Others More Likely

Social media can often end up being a rather nasty place in a lot of different ways. This can be especially problematic in situations where societal norms might just end up being pushed such as in the case of plus sized models and the like. In order to better understand this, researchers in Australia conducted a test with over 90 female students. This test involved them looking at a few pictures of plus sized models, and each picture had positive, negative or neutral comments.

It turns out that when the test participants saw that a picture already had negative comments under it, they ended up being more likely to post something negative as well. Bear in mind that they were able to post a comment anonymously which probably emboldened them to say what was truly on their mind. Around 40% of the comments under pictures that already had negative comments ended up being negative as well. Whereas only 4% of the comments left under those posts that had only positive comments were negative.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this research exemplifies the kind of positive feedback loop that can be created in social media echo chambers. People are very influenced by what they see online, and if they notice that other people are behaving a certain way then this might lead to them feeling like they have license to behave in a similar manner too. Anonymity is also something that facilitates people often being downright mean online, something that really needs to change. The internet is a wonderful thing, but social media can sometimes bring out the worst in people and this research has just made it even more clear that something like this currently happens to be the case.

Source: Cambridge

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