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The majority of Online Abuse is Aimed at Women, EU Survey Reveals

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The European Union survey indicates that women are the primary targets of online hatred, which
includes harsh language, harassment, and incitement to sexual violence.

According to the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), this should urge the EU and social media
platforms to pay particular attention to protected characteristics such as gender and race when
filtering content.

Between January and June 2022, the survey was done on YouTube, Telegram, Reddit, and X – formerly known as Twitter – in four EU nations. It was discovered that women were the primary targets across all platforms and nations involved. People of African heritage and Roma were also affected.

Based on the EU agency, the number of nasty posts targeting women was over three times that of
those targeting individuals of African ancestry in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, and Sweden, the four
countries covered by the survey.

“The sheer volume of hate we identified on social media clearly shows that the EU, its Member
States and online platforms can step up their efforts to create a safer online space for all,” FRA
director Michael Flaherty said in a statement.

The EU’s Digital Services Act, which went into effect last year, requires very large tech platforms and
search engines to do more to combat dangerous and unlawful content or face fines.

In October, the European Commission launched formal investigations into Facebook parent company Meta, TikTok,
and X’s efforts to remove offensive content from their platforms.

With a surge in damaging content and disinformation following Israel’s war on Gaza, tech behemoths have recently come under fire. According to the FRA, it was unable to get data from Facebook and Instagram for the study.

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