Do extreme temperatures play a role in online hate speech? This is a surprising question that researchers recently asked themselves in a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health. And more surprisingly, the answer is yes.
Does the heat make online exchanges worse?
Thus, according to the findings of scientists, temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius increase the publication of hateful tweets by 22%. The same goes for lower temperatures as these toxic messages also increase by 12% when the thermometer drops below 3 degrees Celsius. Conversely, when it is between 15 and 18 degrees, a more temperate climate, the study authors found the lowest proportion of hate tweets. Interestingly, these readings seem to be quite reliable. car the results are the same when other variables are integrated, such as political affiliation, cultural background, or economic status of Internet users. So comment May-on interpret it information ? The researchers remain quite cautious and say:
Our findings indicate that temperature plays a role in interpersonal conflict, online hate speech, and social aggression. We provide empirical evidence that high and low temperatures can exacerbate aggressive online trends. The prevalence of results across climatic and socioeconomic subgroups indicates a limitation in the ability of humans to adapt to extreme temperatures.
Temperature is clearly not the only cause in spreading hatred on the Internet. Major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even TikTok also have grand their role, and many voices are asking them to change their recommendation algorithms to better deal with toxic content.