The site Incel has relaxed its rules on pedophilia amid an increase in violence Get Whole Detail

The site Incel has relaxed its rules on pedophilia amid an increase in violence
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  • The Center to Combat Digital Hate released a study Friday examining incel communities.
  • The study analyzed 1.2 million posts from an incel forum with about 2.6 million visits per month.
  • Violent rhetoric increased by 59%, with forum members posting about rape every half hour.

The most popular online forum for incels—a label that has come to refer to men who cannot find sexual partners and express hostility toward women for their problems—has increasingly promoted mass murder and demonstrated a tolerance of rape and pedophilia in the last year. , according to a new study.

A report released Friday by The Center for Countering Digital Hate’s Quant Lab analyzed about 1.2 million posts on an online forum over 18 months. The website, which remains unnamed in the study, appears to be the most popular forum where incels gather online — with just over 4,000 active members but 2.6 million visits per month, according to the researchers.

Researchers have argued that incel circles on the site are becoming increasingly supportive of topics that have at least been the subject of debate in other similar forums.

Previously, online incel communities differed on whether pedophilia should be tolerated or promoted, the study found, but Quant Lab researchers found that more than half of the forum’s users support the topic.

“Over a quarter of incel forum users posted pedophilia keywords, and pedophilia discussions show that 53% of posters are supportive,” says the study, based on posts from more than 1,143 unique users.

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The online forum appears to be changing its site rules to accommodate this proliferation, the researchers said.

On March 5, 2022, the “relevant rules” were changed from “do not sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form” to “do not sexualize prepubescent minors in any way, shape, or form.”

The analysis also found that violent rhetoric, with posts mentioning “mass murders”, increased by more than 59% in the past year and a half.

Forum members also posted about rape every 29 minutes, and discussions about the act showed 89 percent of posters supported it, according to the study.

Overall, more than a fifth of forum posts featured “misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic or anti-LGBTQ+ language,” the researchers wrote.

Incel communities aren’t limited to more obscure forums either. Mainstream platforms such as YouTube, Reddit and Facebook are also popular means of linking content for incels, the study shows.

YouTube, for example, has channels with a total of over 136,000 subscribers and 24.2 million video views. According to the study, forums often link on the platform to videos that inform viewers about incel ideology or even show women secretly filmed.

“YouTube has strict policies that prohibit hate speech and harassment on our platform, and we remove content that targets or threatens individuals or groups based on protected attributes, such as their gender identity and expression,” a YouTube spokesperson told Insider. “After review, we have removed and age-restricted several videos from (Center for Countering Digital Hate) for violating our Community Guidelines.”

The term incel, short for involuntary celibacy, has morphed from its initial coining in the mid-1990s by a woman who longed for a community of support for people who had not found sexual partners.

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Over time, the label has been appropriated to largely identify men who often blame women for their problems and promote “a nasty and violent ideology” that has resulted in the death and injury of people, mostly women, the researchers wrote.

The most prominent example was a 22-year-old who killed six people and injured 14 more in Santa Barbara, California in 2014. Before the storm and his suicide, the shooter made it known in online posts that “an incipient incel community” was identified at the time, according to the study.

“Since then, dozens more have died from self-proclaimed incels around the world,” the study said.

Experts have warned that, left unchecked, online incel communities will continue to radicalise.

“Here we can see, in real time, the social norms of an evolving community pushed to new excesses,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, wrote in the study. “Unchecked, incel communities have the potential to become further radicalized.”

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