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Minority responsible for boosting hate speech online, study finds

Europe
20.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - A small minority of internet users are responsible for much of the hate speech online, an analysis of thousands of posts and comments has indicated.

About half of the likes on hate speech comments on Facebook were generated by about 5 per cent of accounts, according to the study undertaken by IT expert Philip Kreissel with the help of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London.

Twenty-five per cent of the likes came from just 1 per cent of the profiles, he found.

These very active users often cluster their contributions around discussions where hate speech plays a role, but they are markedly passive in other discussions, the analysis found.

"Right-wing groups try in a targeted manner to manipulate Facebook algorithms. They decide on times and hashtags to catapult them into the list of trending topics," said Julia Ebner from the institute to the broadcaster NDR.

Some 3,000 posts and 18,000 comments were examined for the study, with contributions from several major German news publications.

 

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