Teens Largely Unbothered by Vulgar Slurs Online, New Study Finds

Rated for TeenGreg Howard writes in Slate:

If someone called us these names to our faces, or even if we overheard them, how would we react? Ask them to stop? Throw a punch? Walk away? All of the above, and in that order? Now what would we do if those words popped up on our Facebook wall, Twitter feed or cell phone? Would we … laugh?

According to a recent national Associated Press-MTV poll of young people between 14 and 24, most teens and young 20-somethings think it’s alright to use slurs among friends or when joking around in cyberspace. Seventy-one percent say that people are more likely to use slurs online, and 51 percent encounter discriminatory words and images on social networking sites. Only half of those surveyed said they would probably ask someone using such language online to stop.

Most say they feel more comfortable with slurs online because people are just trying to be funny or cool. Fifty-four percent of young people think it’s okay to use discriminatory language within their circle of friends because people “know we don’t mean it,” according to the survey. In short, it’s become an accepted part of people’s experience online.

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  • Dueyv9

    Who the fuck cares about this fucking shit? :)

  • Dueyv9

    Who the fuck cares about this fucking shit? :)

  • Anonymous

    who’s the niggerfaggot that wrote this shit?

  • Anonymous

    who’s the niggerfaggot that wrote this shit?

  • Anonymous

    What? Too soon for ironic racism?

  • neurolux

    What? Too soon for ironic racism?

  • Anonymous

    L2Troll fags

  • Redacted

    L2Troll fags

  • Seamus Dubh

    It’s the one forum where they are truly meaningless.
    No one knows your race, religion, or origin.
    You don’t know anyone else’s race, religion, or origin.
    It is the social utopia all idealists wanted.

    Knowledge and use of a word is nothing without belief in it’s meaning.

    • Micho_rizo88

      Yeah, that’s sort of the ironic thing–language has no meaning outside of what we bring to it. If you really wanted to suck all offensiveness from a word, society should let that word be used indiscriminately. In a couple of weeks, all of the most grotesque and mean words would be used in the same manner “dude” and “shoot” and “golly” and  be just about as offensive as those words are to us.

      This is a double-edged sword however, because it is somewhat useful to have words that have a particular emphasis. Saying “fudge” when I stub my toe doesn’t quite have the same effect as saying “fuck.” It’s also nice to have some words saved up for those people we feel really deserve them. It’s chilling to imagine how stifling it would be to try to communicate my displeasure with some people without the ability to use words like “cunt,” “dipshit,” “douche” and other such words I only use several times a year for the most extreme of cases.

      Furthermore, in case this post hasn’t been long-winded and meandering enough, we can see the effect of neutering language in how we express pleasure. Words that actually used to mean something, like “awesome” and “amazing” don’t mean shit anymore because morons use them all the goddamned time for the stupidest shit. Someone posts a youtube video of a cat chewing Copenhagen and it’s fucking “awesome.” Someone else kills a thousand zombies on Call of Duty and it’s “amazing.” I mean, I’m just as dorky and idiotic as most people and some of that stuff is “cool” or “all right,”  in my eyes, but it certainly doesn’t induce awe or amazement.

  • Seamus Dubh

    It’s the one forum where they are truly meaningless.
    No one knows your race, religion, or origin.
    You don’t know anyone else’s race, religion, or origin.
    It is the social utopia all idealists wanted.

    Knowledge and use of a word is nothing without belief in it’s meaning.

  • Micho_rizo88

    Yeah, that’s sort of the ironic thing–language has no meaning outside of what we bring to it. If you really wanted to suck all offensiveness from a word, society should let that word be used indiscriminately. In a couple of weeks, all of the most grotesque and mean words would be used in the same manner “dude” and “shoot” and “golly” and  be just about as offensive as those words are to us.

    This is a double-edged sword however, because it is somewhat useful to have words that have a particular emphasis. Saying “fudge” when I stub my toe doesn’t quite have the same effect as saying “fuck.” It’s also nice to have some words saved up for those people we feel really deserve them. It’s chilling to imagine how stifling it would be to try to communicate my displeasure with some people without the ability to use words like “cunt,” “dipshit,” “douche” and other such words I only use several times a year for the most extreme of cases.

    Furthermore, in case this post hasn’t been long-winded and meandering enough, we can see the effect of neutering language in how we express pleasure. Words that actually used to mean something, like “awesome” and “amazing” don’t mean shit anymore because morons use them all the goddamned time for the stupidest shit. Someone posts a youtube video of a cat chewing Copenhagen and it’s fucking “awesome.” Someone else kills a thousand zombies on Call of Duty and it’s “amazing.” I mean, I’m just as dorky and idiotic as most people and some of that stuff is “cool” or “all right,”  in my eyes, but it certainly doesn’t induce awe or amazement.

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