Predictors of Viewing Online Extremism Among America’s Youth

Exposure to hate material is related to a host of negative outcomes. Young people might be especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of such exposure. With that in mind, this article examines factors associated with the frequency that youth and young adults, ages 15 to 24, see material online that expresses negative views toward a social group. We use an online survey of individuals recruited from a demographically balanced sample of Americans for this project. Our analysis controls for variables that approximate online routines, social, political, and economic grievances, and sociodemographic traits. Findings show that spending more time online, using particular social media sites, interacting with close friends online, and espousing political views online all correlate with increased exposure to online hate. Harboring political grievances is likewise associated with seeing hate material online frequently. Finally, Whites are more likely than other race/ethnic groups to be exposed to online hate frequently.

Tags: delinquency, electronic, Internet, Media, Online Extremism, online hate, peers, Social Media, Technology