Thursday, 14 April 2016

Online Comments, Diversity Dimensions & The Guardian

"Even if I tell myself that somebody calling me a nigger or a faggot doesn't mean anything, it has a toll on me: it has an emotional effect, it takes a physical toll. And over time it builds up."
Steven Thrasher, Guardian writer

"We decided to treat the 70m comments that have been left on the Guardian – and in particular the comments that have been blocked by our moderators – as a huge data set to be explored rather than a problem to be brushed under the carpet."
Since 2006, 70 million comments have been left on the Guardian's website - 70 million comments that have now been studied in order to better understand the phenomenon of online harassment. In fact, there are clear patterns; here are some results:

- Articles written by women attract more abuse and dismissive trolling and get more blocked than articles written by men.
- The more male-dominated the section (e.g. Sport, Technology), the more blocked comments the women who write there get.
- Fashion is a section where most articles are written by women and it is one of the few sections where male authors receive more blocked comments.
- Articles about feminism attract very high levels of blocked comments.
- Of the ten most abused writers eight are women and the two men are black (two of the women and one of the men are gay, one of the eight women is Muslim, one is Jewish).
- Of the ten least abused writers ten are men.

More results: The Guardian

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photograph via


  1. Thanks for the share!

    1. This is such a great and important study.
      Thanks, Kenneth!

  2. Thanks indeed, Laura!!

    1. This just had to be shared ;-) Thanks, Karen!

  3. boon and bane of social media

    1. Indeed... I'm glad the Guardian has published this data. Thanks, Erin!