Virginia Tech Study Finds American Youth Are Increasingly Exposed to Online Hate

A new analysis  by James Hawdon, a professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech, finds that American youths are increasing being confronted with racial hate on the Internet.

Professor Hawdon’s study finds that the number of Americans ages 15 to 21 who are exposed to online extremist messages increased by over 20 percent, from 58.3 percent to 70.2 percent, between 2013 and 2016. He reports that:

  • 68.9 percent of the group or groups being attacked in extremist online posts are racial or ethnic minorities
  • Approximately 40 percent of these messages openly advocate violence against the targeted group
  • Nearly 50 percent of the messages advocate hatred of the group, and one-third of the messages openly call for discrimination against the group.

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