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Poll: Young people see online slurs as just joking
AP-MTV Poll: Online slurs mostly jokes, but young people may offend more than they realize
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Many young people who text and go on Facebook and Twitter encounter slurs that would probably appall their parents, teachers or bosses. But the youth tell an Associated Press-MTV poll that the words don't bother them much.

Half of those ages 14 to 24 surveyed say they regularly see derogatory slang online that targets groups such as women, blacks, or gays and lesbians. But 54 percent think it's OK to use discriminatory language among friends if they're just kidding and don't really mean it.

The teens and twentysomethings say the main reason people use online slurs is to be funny. The group most frequently targeted? People who are overweight. Insults aimed at them were used in a hurtful way more often than name-calling against women or African-Americans.

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