ECU students see rise in social media negativity post-election

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As the results of the presidential election came in, millions instantly took to their keyboards to express their views on the race.

Some East Carolina University students said they had seen a lot of negativity and hatred on social media over the past week.

“The biggest thing I saw was a lot of conflict between people that voted for Trump and people that voted for Hillary,” said Ronald Charles, a sophomore at ECU.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with political statements.

“The reality of today’s political world is that a lot of individuals talk through social media,” said Jonathan Morris, a political science professor at East Carolina University. “Not to each other, and research has shown that takes on quite a different tone than face to face interaction.”

Many reported losing friends after seeing what some posted on their page, and others said they felt targeted for their political beliefs.

“People have to think perhaps about striking some civil tones even if they’re not talking directly to each other but through a phone,” Morris said.

ECU student Malie Henderson, a sophomore, said she thinks some people may feel more comfortable expressing their opinions behind a screen then in person.

“I think it’s a lot easier to hide yourself when it’s on the internet, and a lot of times you don’t really see it out in public,” said Henderson. “They just don’t know how to have a conversation face to face.”

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