Moralized Language Might Be Making Hate Speech Worse

The rise of the internet has created a lot of progress for humanity in a multitude of ways, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it’s also cause a lot of problems that didn’t exist prior to this invention. Case in point is hate speech, since although it has existed in some way, shape or form for eons, it has become considerably amplified due to the massive amount of communication that the internet can facilitate.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that researchers at the Justus Liebig University Geissen found a correlation between how much moralized language is in a tweet and the amount of hate speech that it receives. According to this study, the use of moralized language might be leading to higher levels of hate speech than might have been the case otherwise.

The study analyzed over 691,000 tweets as well as over 35 million replies that these tweets received. They sourced these tweets from politicians, news professionals as well as members of the activist community which covers a fairly wide swathe of important individuals that use social media with all things having been considered and taken into account.

It turns out that moralistic language was such a huge factor that just a single instance of its usage could result in a 10.66% to 16.48% higher chance of receiving hate speech. Emotional words can have an even more pronounced effect, with each individual word increasing the likelihood of hate speech in the replies by anywhere from 9.35% to 20.63%.

One thing that should be mentioned here is that moralized language is not going to go away. People will use such language because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up getting their message across. Social media is a pulpit, and politicians, journalists and activists have to appeal to peoples morals and emotions. That just can’t be done without using suitable language, and there will always be people on the other end of the spectrum who react negatively to it.

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