A new theory describes how hate travels across social media platforms and around the world — and one researcher compares it to water boiling

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August 21, 2019

In a new study mapping how hate travels across the online world, researchers explored how hate groups thrive on social media even when they are banned and offered new solutions to dismantle them.

The study, published in the journal “Nature” on Wednesday, maps out a phenomenon lawmakers and social media companies have struggled to understand and contain. Shortly after a gunman massacred more than 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, copies of his first-person video flourished on social media, with new ones popping up across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit faster than they could be removed. Extreme groups have also been known to migrate from mainstream platforms to places such as 8chan with fewer moderation standards in the face of content removal.

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