Anger 101

According to the Metropolitan police, hate crime is up in London by 29% year on year. Not 5%, not 10%, not 20% but 29%. What's worse is that it’s not just that hate crime over all is up, every single subset of hate crime that the Met measures is up. 

So when I say that intolerance is growing, at least in London, I can prove it.

This was the stat that I used to kick off my talk on growing intolerance at the Ada's List conference on Saturday. There should be video available sometime next week, but for those who were asking, I thought I'd post a quick run down of my findings. Let's call it Anger 101.

Fundamentally, people are angry. In the US and the UK, they just are. In a survey that I did last year with Portland Communications (who were kind enough to let me use their data for my talk), the majority of Brits are just, frankly, pissed off:

  • 72% feel negatively towards politics;
  • 64% feel negatively towards the government;
  • 51% feel negatively towards the economy; and,
  • 50% feel negatively towards the state of the environment.

What's worse is that through academic literature, we can follow a path directly from anger to intolerance to the potential for violence - and though the literature is about real life violence, when I see things like GamerGate unfold, I see that as violence that happens to be taking place (mostly) in the online world.

My lovely friends at Listen + Learn Research dug into that online world for me to uncover what people are feeling in the UK when they are angry. Based on a random sampling of 750 comments online between July and September of this year, they found that when people are angry, the reasons are usually along the lines of:

  • A betrayal
  • Losing personal agency
  • A sense of righteous indignation
  • Feeling violated
  • Taking offence
  • Personal injustice

Pretty quickly you can intuitively get a feel for how the path from anger goes to intolerance.

I had a lot of great feedback from the folks at the conference, both offline afterwards and on Twitter during! I've also had quite a few follow up questions and requests for more details. I'll be working through them in the coming days and weeks.

But if you're interested in understanding more about the path from anger to intolerance, and most importantly, what it means for the way people are feeling about the choices in their lives - whether political or consumer choices - do get in touch. I'm currently scheduling Lunch & Learn sessions to bring it to life for companies around Central London. 

The sessions are FREE if you book in October, but from November there will be a fee associated with it. So click through and book me now for anytime between now and the end of the year. 

I'm happy to come share - provided that (gluten free!) lunch is on you!

(*) Stat in the slide is based on my analysis of a publicly available data set on the psychological make up of the alt right in the US

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