Online hatred based on attributes, such as origin, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, has become a rising public concern across the world. Past research on aggressive behavior suggests strong associations between victimization and perpetration and that toxic online disinhibition and sex might influence this relationship. However, no study investigated both the relationship between online hate victimization and perpetration and the potential moderation effects of toxic online disinhibition on this relationship. To this end, the present study was conducted. The sample consists of 1,480 7th to 10th graders from Germany. Results revealed positive associations between online hate victimization and perpetration. Furthermore, the results support the idea that toxic online disinhibition and sex, by way of moderator effects, affect the relationship between online hate victimization and perpetration. Victims of online hate reported more online hate perpetration when they reported higher levels of online disinhibition and less frequent online hate perpetration when they reported lower levels of toxic online disinhibition. Additionally, the relationship between online hate victimization and perpetration was significantly greater among boys than among girls. Taken together, our results extend previous findings to online hate involvement among adolescents and substantiate the importance to conduct more research on online hate. In addition, our findings highlight the need for prevention and intervention programs that help adolescents deal with the emerging issue of online hate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Science Applications