3. Hate speech soars online after George Floyd's death
Since May 26, the day after George Floyd's death, a digital measurement firm found that online hate speech in the U.S. has nearly tripled, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
By the numbers: On June 3, at the height of nationwide protests, DoubleVerify, which uses its own technology to scan pages online so advertisers can avoid objectionable content, says instances of hate speech were more than 4.5 times higher than usual — the highest-ever rate it has measured.
Details: States with heavy protests experienced the highest levels of hate speech online.
- Minnesota, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Virginia saw the highest spikes, per DoubleVerify.
Hate speech had been in a "pretty significant downward trend" prior to the protests, DoubleVerify VP of marketing Heather McKim tells Axios.
- The company defines hate speech as content featuring "biased or derogatory language or behaviors directed toward an individual or group, based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability."
The big picture: The spikes in hateful content, especially as it related to race and violence, have put pressure on tech companies to take action.
- Last week, Axios reported that the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), an industry body consisting of the world's biggest advertising companies — including a few Big Tech companies — has agreed to try to define hate speech across the entire industry.
Our thought bubble: The entire internet, from Facebook and Google on down, is groaning under the weight of hateful posts. Pressed by concerned advertisers on one side and outraged users and employees on the other, tech giants have tried to take countermeasures, but they haven't been able to keep up.