Religion, politics spark uncivil online conversations in India: Survey

If you have faced a situation where an online conversation turned uncivil over topics like sexual orientation or religion, you aren't alone.

According to a report by Microsoft, topics like sexual orientation (40 per cent), religion (39 per cent) and politics (37 per cent) drove incivility the most in online conversations in India.

Physical appearance (31 per cent) and gender identity (29 per cent) are also topics that see people turning uncivil on social media platforms.

The global report saw participation from 12,520 adults and teens across 25 nations, including 502 from India.

Globally, physical appearance (31 per cent), politics (31 per cent), sexual orientation (30 per cent), religion (26 per cent) and race (25 per cent) were topics that drove incivility.

The India Digital Civility Index increased 12 points to 71 per cent -- indicating that uncivil behaviour in the online world had gotten worse compared to the previous year.

The respondents said unwanted contact (40 per cent) was the most common risk they faced online.

This was followed by unwanted sexting (26 per cent), hate speech (23 per cent), trolling (21 per cent), and mean treatment (20 per cent).

About 67 per cent respondents said they believe technology and social media companies will create tools and policies that will encourage respectful and civil behaviour.

The respondents said the most painful online risks include damage to professional reputation (94 per cent), unwanted sexting (94 per cent), online harassment (93 per cent), damage to personal reputation (93 per cent) and misogyny (88 per cent).

Interestingly, a significant number of respondents associated familiarity with increased risk and consequences. About 45 per cent said they had met the perpetrator in real life. 

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