London: Social networks have become the preferred platform for many people to take revenge on someone, according to a new UK survey.
The increasing popularity of Twitter and Facebook has made it easier and quicker to settle scores and seven in 10 (69percent) people polled said online tools are responsible for people’s thirst for payback.
More than half (52percent) said they were currently thinking about getting their own back on someone while almost four in 10 (38 percent) confessed they had already sought revenge out of anger, jealousy or spite.
Work colleagues are the most popular target, followed by friends and bosses, according to the poll conducted to mark the launch of ‘Hell on Wheels’, a new Western TV series from TCM charting the vengeful exploits of a band of outcasts in post-civil war America.
A third of British people said that adultery is the transgression most deserving of revenge, followed by lying (19 percent) and stealing (9 percent).
And more than one in 10 believe people in the public eye deserve abuse on social networks if they are perceived to have done something wrong, it found.
Half of the 2,000 people polled said they believed most revenge now takes place on Facebook.
“While certainly alarming, these findings are by no means surprising,” Sky News quoted Professor Frank Webster, head of sociology at City University in London as saying.
“We have long known that there’s a lot of anger bottled up inside people. Exasperated with workmates, frustrated by politicians, infuriated by bankers, envious of shallow celebrities... we all have moments when the blood boils.
“Getting back at those who’ve crossed us and wreaking revenge is so much easier and instantaneous when it involves a Twitter jibe or a Facebook slur.
“We can even do it anonymously, with little fear of consequences. If, as this survey suggests, online technologies are making revenge more acceptable nowadays, then the consequences of an increasingly networked world may be chilling.
“Do we want to live in a society where immediate insult, personal ridicule and hate speech finds ready expression and even approval?” he added.