B Code Intelligence Center Releases Online Racial Hate Report, Revealing How Harmful Content Impacts Black Users and Content Creators on Social Platforms

In partnership with SOHH.com, the study unpacks how Black audiences interact and create content online while social platforms struggle to curb hate speech

B Code Media, a digital media company focused on helping brands and advertisers connect with Black audiences digitally across a Black-owned and Black targeted premium publisher network, today released the Online Racial Hate report in partnership with leading hip hop news site, SOHH.com. The report measures the pervasiveness of racial hate speech among Black online content creators and consumers and gauges the impact it has caused on those individuals.

Social media platforms have come under scrutiny recently for the dissemination of harmful content with calls for improved moderation and user protection growing louder. Over the last year, this type of content has been increasingly linked to the rise in hate crimes, amplified by racial tensions stemming from the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In order to encourage further conversation on making online platforms safer for Black audiences, B Code Media and SOHH.com partnered on this research study to provide more context and clarity on the impact this type of harmful content has on the well-being of Black audiences.

Marketing Technology News: Anvil Launches Workflows to Automate Complex Webs of Paperwork

“What we’re seeing is that most Black consumers online have not seen much progress in stemming the tide of hateful speech across various social platforms” says Damian Benders, General Manager of B Code Media. “We hope that this study acts as an additional step forward in fostering discussion and developing action plans based on the insight into real life impact. Mitigating the ongoing exposure to harmful content that the community endures must be a priority.”

The Online Racial Hate report is the latest project from B Code’s Intelligence Center which is focused on providing a richer understanding of how Black audiences consume and perceive content online. The release of the report also comes at a time when Black media platforms and Black content creators are at the center of the movement towards increased diversity and representation in media. The report provides context on the top concerns from this segment and sheds some light on how the environment impacts their ability to create and distribute content through social platforms.

“Because of the discrimination they face online, Black content creators do not feel as comfortable expressing their authentic selves when engaging with others online and can often be isolated or financially disadvantaged as a byproduct of not feeling welcome within online communities,” adds Danielle Hester, Brand Marketing Lead at B Code. “The onus is on these media platforms to make their digital environments more of a safe space for diverse audiences.”

The Online Racial Hate report uses proprietary data collected from the B Code Intelligence Center, which routinely surveys a large panel of Black consumers across target demographics. 1,070 Black respondents aged 18+ were interviewed in a quantitative online survey in September of 2021, and they are representative of all main geographical areas of the United States. This report follows another major study released by B Code Intelligence Center in October which explored Black consumers’ attitudes towards digital advertising.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Eddie Porrello, Director of Product at Amber Engine

“This groundbreaking study proves that online hate is pervasive and unchecked on all social media platforms. Black creators, influencers and publishers are the engine behind the growth of these platforms, yet we are left exploited, unprotected and financially devastated,” states Felicia Palmer, Co-Founder of SOHH.com, which was defaced and deplatformed during a 2007 racist online attack. “The evidence from this study is insurmountable — Twitch, Facebook and Twitter must enact tangible, meaningful and quantifiable reforms — from AI to personnel — to ensure there is equity in the next generation metaverse.”

In addition to partnering with SOHH.com on the design and execution of the study, B Code Media tapped its rapidly growing network of Black-owned and Black-targeted digital publishers to expand the reports distribution and reach. A curated selection of premium publishers including TheGrio.com, BlackEnterprise.com, Rap-up.com, Defpen.com and MadefortheW.com will join forces to amplify the data and insights from the study with their own articles and social media content.

Topline insights from the report include the following:

  • More than half (54%) of all Black content creators reported having been victims of online racial hate.
  • Across all respondents, Facebook and Instagram were cited most as platforms where users experience online racial hate.
  • 18-34 year old consumers are disproportionately impacted by online racial hate as 46% of that segment reports that experience, especially on smaller social platforms.
  • The overwhelming majority of respondents who do not report racial hate are disenfranchised, with 58% indicating the report will not make a difference and another 30% believing that no punishment will be imposed.
  • 66% of the Black audience says that online racial hate affects their mental health and well being.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Eddie Porrello, Director of Product at Amber Engine