Analyzing the Targets of Hate in Online Social Media

Social media systems allow Internet users a congenial platform to freely express their thoughts and opinions. Although this property represents incredible and unique communication opportunities, it also brings along important challenges. Online hate speech is an archetypal example of such challenges. Despite its magnitude and scale, there is a significant gap in understanding the nature of hate speech on social media. In this paper, we provide the first of a kind systematic large scale measurement study of the main targets of hate speech in online social media. To do that, we gather traces from two social media systems: Whisper and Twitter. We then develop and validate a methodology to identify hate speech on both these systems. Our results identify online hate speech forms and offer a broader understanding of the phenomenon, providing directions for prevention and detection approaches.

Tags: Detecting hate speech, Social Media