On social media or Internet bulletin boards, there are many people who use abusive language to others or show an aggressive attitude during political debates. The media explains that the anonymity of the Internet, which is often invisible, leads to attacks on people. But this discourse is wrong, and Danish researchers have found that people who are aggressive on the Internet are actually aggressive.
A team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark conducted a survey of 8,434 Americans and Danes to determine whether the inconsistency hypothesis actually existed. First, the research team conducted three surveys asking the question of how much malicious behavior has been done in online and offline political discussions. The results showed that there was a correlation between hostile behavior online and offline. This means that people who abusive people online are also offline, suggesting that the hypothesis that the Internet is attacking people is likely to be erroneous.
That’s why the researchers say that sarcastic people on Twitter make people angry even when they talk face-to-face. In addition, the research team argues that there was no difference in the results in the two opposite countries in the United States, where political polarization is taking place and Denmark, where social conflicts are less, and accordingly, it can be applied to other Western democracies as well.
While the people who post offensive posts on the Internet are the same as those who behave aggressively in real life, many people think the Internet trolley is worse. He said that the online discussion gave a more negative impression.
The research team also conducted a survey asking people to respond to the person who is the target of abusive language in three categories: myself, friends, and other people on the Internet and in real life. As a result, it can be seen that there is a common point in the United States and Denmark that abusive language against others is seen more prominently online than offline.
Regarding the results of this investigation, the research team said that they found that the reason that many people feel that political discussions online are offensive is because of the visibility of aggressive words and actions online. In other words, because online discussions take place in large public networks, the conclusion is that Internet flooding is far more noticeable than the same words and actions performed by the same person in the real world. Related information can be found here.