Savvas Zannettou at Cyprus University of Technology and his colleagues set up an account on Gab, then cross-checked posts against terms in Hatebase, a database used by governments and non-governmental organisations to track the spread of hate speech. One in every 20 posts the researchers analysed included words in the Hatebase corpus – 2.4 times the rate on Twitter. However, hate-filled posts on Gab were only half as common as on 4chan’s /pol/ message board, a notorious home of internet trolls.

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New Scientist covers SCRC’s study of the Gab social network