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Asian Americans and Black Americans experienced major rises in online hate in the past year, a new report has found, despite recent steps that social media firms have taken to address harassment.
A survey released on Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate speech organization founded in 1913, discovered that in 2020 Asian Americans experienced the largest single rise in severe online hate and harassment year-over-year in comparison to other groups, with 17% reporting having experienced sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats, swatting, doxing or sustained harassment, compared to 11% last year.
The survey’s release comes as the Asian American community grapples with an increase in real-world violence, most recently the murders of six Asian women working at massage parlors in Georgia, and a 75-year-old man from Hong Kong who died after being robbed and assaulted by a man police said had a history of victimizing elderly Asian people. Stop AAPI Hate, a group dedicated to tracking crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, documented 3,800 hate-related incidents targeting Asian Americans in 2020.
“Not surprisingly, after a year where national figures including the president himself routinely scapegoated China and Chinese people for spreading the coronavirus, Asian-Americans experienced heightened levels of harassment online, just as they did offline,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League.
The study also noted a rise in hate speech against other minority groups, including African Americans, who saw a sharp rise in race-based harassment – a different category than the record increase for Asians – from 42% last year to 59% this year. That jump came as protests over the killing of Black Americans, sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others in 2020, put America’s anti-Black racism at the forefront once again.
For the third consecutive year, LGBTQ+ respondents reported higher rates of overall harassment than all other demographics, with 64% saying they have been harassed online due to their identities.
Read more of Kari Paul’s report here: Asian and Black Americans saw largest rise in online hate in 2020, report finds

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