You know the feeling. You’re scrolling through your Twitter or Facebook feed and there it is: a post you read once, twice, three times, because you can’t believe that someone would post something like that. What is wrong with humanity?
As with any social scientific phenomenon, it’s a constellation of environmental factors (in this case, affordances specific to online communication), experience, and personality.
After a comparative reading of the #Fergusonshooting and #Fergusonriots hashtags on Twitter (yes, those are real tweets above), my coping mechanism was to write this piece for Psychology Today providing some explanations about why people post offensive crap online: