In recent years, the increasing propagation of hate speech on social media and the urgent need for effective counter-measures have drawn significant investment from governments, companies, and empirical research. Despite a large number of emerging scientific studies to address the problem, a major limitation of existing work is the lack of comparative evaluations, which makes it difficult to assess the contribution of individual works. This paper introduces a new method based on a deep neural network combining convolutional and gated recurrent networks. We conduct an extensive evaluation of the method against several baselines and state of the art on the largest collection of publicly available Twitter datasets to date, and show that compared to previously reported results on these datasets, our proposed method is able to capture both word sequence and order information in short texts, and it sets new benchmark by outperforming on 6 out of 7 datasets by between 1 and 13% in F1. We also extend the existing dataset collection on this task by creating a new dataset covering different topics.