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Study Shows That Warnings Can Help Reduce Hate Speech on Twitter

Pretty much every single social media platform that people are using right now have a hate speech problem. That can be harmful because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up alienating certain users and promoting negative stereotypes about groups that already get victimized in real life. Trying to stop hate speech can often be an uphill battle, but there is quite a bit of research being conducted that might give a clue as to how people can be stopped from saying truly dangerous things under the mask of online anonymity.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a study conducted at NYU, based in their Center for Social Media and Politics, has uncovered a trick for reducing the usage of hate speech on Twitter, and it’s actually surprisingly simple. All it involves is putting up a warning whenever a user is posting something or the other that contains hate speech and telling them about the kind of real world harm that it can end up causing if they are not a little more careful.

Now, suffice it to say that this is not going to end racism anytime soon with all things having been considered and taken into account. However, the study does show that users that receive a warning about the implications of their tweet is very impactful because people often speak without thinking online. Making people think about what they are trying to say can make them less likely to say hateful things towards ethnic, religious, sexual or any other kinds of minorities. What’s more is that this doesn’t restrict their free speech, it only seeks to educate them on the impact of the words that they are choosing to say at that precise moment.


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