Extreme Weather Increases Hateful Tweets by 22%, New Study Shows

Twitter can be a hub for obtaining useful information, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it also has a reputation for being a place where hateful rhetoric and aggressive interactions can run rampant. Scientists working at the Lancet Planetary Health recently conducted a study which revealed that temperatures in excess of 42 degrees Celsius can increase hateful tweets by as much as 22% with all things having been considered and taken into account.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that cold weather can also result in a similar uptick of hateful tweets. Temperatures that dip below the negative 3 degrees Celsius mark resulted in a 12% increase in the number of hateful tweets that users put out onto the platform. That suggests that extreme temperature of any variety can strongly impact the sentiments of people online, and it adds a new dimension to the risks that climate change currently poses to our planet.

It seems that temperatures in between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius resulted in the lowest proportion of hateful tweets, so this was used as a baseline for the study in question. Anything below 12 degrees or above 21 degrees resulted in an immediate increase, which is unsurprising because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up putting anyone on edge.

Interestingly, this trend remained consistent regardless of political affiliation, cultural background or economic position. That shows that this a global trend, one that will impact all members of our species equally for the most part.

However, social media platforms themselves have a role to play here. For example, Facebook was revealed to promote all kinds of hateful content in order to boost engagement. That is similar to adding fuel to the fire, so social media platforms should be held accountable for making matters worse. Hateful tweets can harm people in the real world, and they should be taken seriously lest the situation continues to spiral out of control and quickly spill out into people’s lives.

Read next: A Study By The Pew Research Center Outlines The General Public’s Fears With Regards To Climate Change
Previous Post Next Post