Majority of Black Audiences Affected by Online Racial Hate
Diversity, Equality, Inclusion

Majority of Black Audiences Affected by Online Racial Hate

BYOB Retreat
Lifestyle expert and influencer Kela Walker at the 2019 BYOB Retreat

The Business of social media is booming and a large part of that is due to Black users and content creators. Yet, more than half of all Black content creators reported having been victims of online racial hate per the latest report released by digital media company B Code, in partnership with hip hop news site SOHH.com. 

The Online Racial Hate Report includes revealing details of the harmful effects on Black users and content creators, via racially driven hate speech that take place via online social platforms. 

“What we’re seeing is that most Black audiences have not seen any progress in stemming the tide of hateful speech on social platforms” says Damian Benders, General Manager of B Code. “We hope that this study provides much needed insight into how much online activity translates into real life impact and guidance on what social media platforms must do to mitigate exposure to harmful content.”Creators-Protecting-Their-Authentic-SelvesOn Thursday, a panel of experts will gather to discuss just how harmful online hate is toward Black audiences and why the malice toward Black Americans still persists. Those interested can register here.

According to the FBI, hate crimes in general, targeting Black people, rose to 2,871 from 1,972 from 2019 to 2020. This is also consistent when it comes to Blacks on social platforms. Over the last year, content linked to the rise in hate crimes has been amplified by racial tensions stemming from the murder of George Floyd in 2020. 

The Online Racial Hate report uses proprietary data collected from the B Code Intelligence Center, which routinely surveys a large panel of Black consumers across target demographics. 1,070 Black respondents aged 18+ were interviewed in a quantitative online survey in September of 2021, and they are representative of all main geographical areas of the United States. 

Topline insights from the report include the following: 

  1. More than half (54%) of all Black content creators reported having been victims of online racial hate.
  2. Across all respondents, Facebook and Instagram were cited most as platforms where users experience online racial hate.  
  3. 18-34 year old consumers are disproportionately impacted by online racial hate as 46% of that segment reports that experience, especially on smaller social platforms
  4. The overwhelming majority of respondents who do not report racial hate are disenfranchised, with 58% indicating the report will not make a difference and another 30% believing that no punishment will be imposed.
  5. 66% of the Black audience says that online racial hate affects their mental health and well being.

“Because of the discrimination they face online, Black content creators do not feel as comfortable expressing their authentic selves when engaging with others online and can often be isolated or financially disadvantaged as a byproduct of not feeling welcome within online communities,” adds Danielle Hester, Brand Marketing Lead at B Code. 

This Online Racial Hate Report was released on Friday and is sure to make waves, especially when it comes to how brands move forward interacting with social media platforms that don’t move fast enough in efforts to curb online hate.  “The onus is on these media platforms to make their digital environments more of a safe space for diverse audiences,” Hester concluded.


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