Novel Mapping Model Tracks How Hate Spreads and Adapts Online

August 21, 2019

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Online hate thrives globally through self-organized, scalable clusters that interconnect to form resilient networks spread across multiple social media platforms, countries and languages, according to new research published Wednesday in Nature.

George Washington University researchers developed a mapping model, the first of its kind, to track how these online hate clusters thrive. They believe it could help social media platforms and law enforcement in the battle against hate online.

Through social media, individuals are able to connect with other like-minded people in a just a few clicks. Clusters of those with common interests form readily and easily. Recently, online hate ideologies and extremist narratives have been linked to a surge in crimes around the world. To thwart this, researchers led by Neil Johnson, a physics professor in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, set out to better understand how online hate evolves and if it can be stopped.

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