Online hatred of women in the Incels.me forum
Linguistic analysis and automatic detection
This paper presents a study of the (now suspended) online discussion forum Incels.me and its users, involuntary celibates or incels, a virtual community of isolated men without a sexual life, who see women as the cause of their problems and often use the forum for misogynistic hate speech and other forms of incitement. Involuntary celibates have attracted media attention and concern, after a killing spree in April 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The aim of this study is to shed light on the group dynamics of the incel community, by applying mixed-methods quantitative and qualitative approaches to analyze how the users of the forum create in-group identity and how they construct major out-groups, particularly women. We investigate the vernacular used by incels, apply automatic profiling techniques to determine who they are, discuss the hate speech posted in the forum, and propose a Deep Learning system that is able to detect instances of misogyny, homophobia, and racism, with approximately 95% accuracy.
Keywords: misogyny, hate speech, social media, forensic linguistics, text analytics, text profiling
Published online: 08 July 2019
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