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From Pick-Up Artists to Incels: A Data-Driven Sketch of the Manosphere

by   Manoel Horta Ribeiro, et al.
Boston University
Max Planck Society
Binghamton University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Over the past few years, a number of "fringe" online communities have been orchestrating harassment campaigns and spreading extremist ideologies on the Web. In this paper, we present a large-scale characterization of the Manosphere, a conglomerate of predominantly Web-based misogynist movements roughly focused on men's issues. We do so by gathering and analyzing 38M posts obtained from 7 forums and 57 subreddits. We find that milder and older communities, such as Pick Up Artists and Men's Rights Activists, are giving way to more extremist communities like Incels and Men Going Their Own Way, with a substantial migration of active users. We also show that the Manosphere is characterized by a volume of hateful speech appreciably higher than other Web communities, including those, such as Gab, known to be hateful. Overall, we paint a comprehensive picture of the evolution of the Manosphere, highlighting the relevance of studying these communities using computational social science methods.


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