Associations between Witnessing and Perpetrating Online Hate in Eight Countries

  • Online hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately, as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material or how adolescents cope with this newly emerging online risk. Thus, we sought to better understand the relationship between a bystander to and perpetrator of online hate, and the moderating effects of problem-focused coping strategies (e.g., assertive, technical coping) within this relationship. Self-report questionnaires on witnessing and committing online hate and assertive and technical coping were completed by 6829 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age from eight countries. The results showed that increases in witnessing online hate were positively related to being a perpetrator of online hate. Assertive and technical coping strategies were negatively related with perpetrating online hate. Bystanders of online hate reported fewerOnline hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately, as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material or how adolescents cope with this newly emerging online risk. Thus, we sought to better understand the relationship between a bystander to and perpetrator of online hate, and the moderating effects of problem-focused coping strategies (e.g., assertive, technical coping) within this relationship. Self-report questionnaires on witnessing and committing online hate and assertive and technical coping were completed by 6829 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age from eight countries. The results showed that increases in witnessing online hate were positively related to being a perpetrator of online hate. Assertive and technical coping strategies were negatively related with perpetrating online hate. Bystanders of online hate reported fewer instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported higher levels of assertive and technical coping strategies, and more frequent instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported lower levels of assertive and technical coping strategies. In conclusion, our findings suggest that, if effective, prevention and intervention programs that target online hate should consider educating young people about problem-focused coping strategies, self-assertiveness, and media skills. Implications for future research are discussed.show moreshow less

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Author:Sebastian WachsORCiD, Michelle F. Wright, Ruthaychonnee SittichaiGND, Ritu Singh, Ramakrishna BiswalORCiD, Eun-mee Kim, Soeun Yang, Manuel Gámez-Guadix, Carmen Almendros, Katerina Flora, Vassiliki Daskalou, Evdoxia Maziridou
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203992
ISSN:1660-4601
ISSN:1661-7827
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Subtitle (English):The Buffering Effects of Problem-Focused Coping
Publisher:MDPI
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/10/18
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2020/01/13
Tag:bystander; coping strategies; cyber aggression; hate speech; online hate; perpetrator
Volume:16
Issue:20
Pagenumber:13
Funder:Universität Potsdam
Grant Number:PA 2019_112
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Bildungswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 62 Ingenieurwissenschaften / 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und zugeordnete Tätigkeiten
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 69 Hausbau, Bauhandwerk / 690 Hausbau, Bauhandwerk
Peer Review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 592