social media

Does Political Affiliation = Negativity?

Almost a month or so ago Franchesca Ramsey engaged in a conversation with a user on Twitter about the hate she receives. The conversation was focused on the fact that Franchesca receives a lot of hateful, demeaning and sometimes racist comments from various people on Twitter as well as on her YouTube videos. If you do not know who Francesca Ramsey is then you should check her out on YouTube and Twitter. Franchesca Ramsey is a writer for the nightly show with Larry Wilmore, host on MTVs Decoded and she has her own YouTube channel (@chescaleigh). Do yourself a favor and check out her YouTube video on 4 reasons why white pride makes people uneasy because you know that should be explained like people don't already know this. Francesca Ramsey is not afraid to talk about the issues a lot of people would prefer to act as if they don't exist or are silent about as to not make others uncomfortable. One of the reasons this is, is because people honestly don't like to hear anything that goes against what they believe. If you are saying something that goes against another person’s beliefs, people tend to buck and respond with negativity and sometimes even violence because they are now being pushed outside of their comfort zone. This negativity is usually associated with talking about race, religion, abortion, or any other hot topic.

What was really interesting about this conversation is that a Twitter user made the point that the hateful comments seem to come from mostly conservative voters or people whose morals and ideals would be identified as conservative. The conversation really got me thinking. Are conservatives more hateful when on social media? Do they tend to leave more hateful comments versus liberals or independents? Or is this another case of media bias- the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported.

Most of the time when I am scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube I never think that a person being hateful could be political…except when the issue the person is commenting on is political. I see the point the Twitter user was making when they initially said this. If the issue is regarding race, white privilege, gay marriage, or abortion I do think conservatives will comment and reply with more hateful commentary because issues such as these are going directly against the beliefs that are typically associated with being a conservative. I also think conservatives are so used to surrounding themselves with people like them, who have the same beliefs or who talk the same way as them, they do not want to hear anyone who would go against that. While I do not think that a person’s political affiliation solely determines their behavior on or off social media when discussing social issues, I do think a person’s beliefs will and does determine their response to certain social issues. A person’s decision to identify as a democrat, republican, liberal, or conservative, is based upon their beliefs, values, morals and ideals.

The degree of a person's hatred when interacting with someone who believes something different I think has more to do with the time we are living in. I think people think it is a bad thing to disagree with someone and automatically want to argue if someone has a different opinion. Because of social media, a person is now able to constantly surround themselves with people who think exactly the same way they do and get angry when they encounter someone who believes something different. It’s a matter of telling people that its okay to disagree with someone and it not lead to an argument or an attack of insults followed by that. We as a society need to work on our communication and learning how to talk to people regardless of what they believe. We get too caught up in titles, especially regarding politics and who people decide to affiliate themselves with.

So tell me below in the comments what do you think. Do you think a person’s political affiliation determines how they will react to certain social issues? Do you agree with the Twitter user that conservatives are more hateful?