Social networking sites are a hot topic, and they’re not all about the same things, according to new research from National Geographic.
According to the study, social networking is evolving to be a platform for “connecting, interacting, and sharing experiences.”
The social networking site can be viewed as a platform where users can make new friends, build social networks and connect with others.
However, the site has also been accused of being a platform of “trolls” and “fake news.”
“Social networking is an evolving technology and this study explores how these technologies have been used in the digital age to engage in the same kinds of behaviors as they have for decades,” said study coauthor and social networking expert Laura Sivoff.
The study found that people have found ways to use social networking sites to harass people and post fake news.
“We know that social media platforms are being used by some to harass, abuse, and discriminate against others online,” Sivofs co-author and author of the study Dr. Laura Sorenson told CNN.
“This study looks at the rise of these types of social media and how they’ve become tools of online harassment and bigotry.”
The study also found that social networking was becoming a platform in which people can make money.
“A study by the Pew Research Center found that more than a third of people said they use social media to get free or low-cost information about a topic or company,” said Siv of the Pew study.
“More than one in five people said their social media profile had more than 10,000 likes.”
The report also found an uptick in harassment and bullying in the United States.
“Many people online feel they are the victims of harassment, bullying, and intimidation because of their race, religion, gender, or disability,” the study found.
“The study shows that many of these behaviors are also being reported in the news.”
The research also found a rise in hate speech and abuse against the LGBTQ community.
Sivs coauthor Dr. Emily Henningsen said the study has important implications for online safety.
“It means we can see a shift from a platform that was designed to be safe and welcoming to one that has become an increasingly toxic platform,” she said.
The new study comes after a slew of recent hate crimes against LGBTQ people, and an increasing number of other instances of violence against the community.
“As we learn more about the scope of these crimes, it’s clear that there’s more to the story than just a few isolated cases,” Soren said.
“While we have a responsibility to prevent and respond to hate crimes, there’s also a responsibility for understanding and addressing the broader cultural issues that have led to the rise in these types [of] crimes.”
The full study, titled Hate Crimes in the Digital Age, can be found here.
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Posted by CNN Newsroom