These charts show Twitter trolling is still very much an issue

Twitter trolls are still very much a problem .
Image: PA Wire/ PA Images

The numbers look grim.

Data investigating how the social media site Twitter is required for abusive online behavior, or trolling in internet parlance does not paint a pretty picture.

The company may have lost potential purchasers because of its very real problem with trolls. Bloomberg reported the reason Walt Disney chose against offering a bid to buy Twitter was due to the platform’s bullying and hateful communication.

The site has attempted to curb the hateful tweets, comments, images and assaults, but it has yet to truly solve the problem. In July, Twitter rolled out a new block feature that was expected to alleviate some of the issues, but the abuse persists. In August more features that “give you more control over what you insures and who you interact with on Twitter” were added.

Dr. Sameer Hinduja, a professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, told Mashable Twitter trolling feels like it’s on the rise, but most research shows the rate of cyberbullying across all platforms has held fairly steady.

However, a lot of the abuse continues on Twitter because the company’s approach to the issue has been nominal and “the threat of detection or dread or sanction is very slim, ” Hinduja said. In particular, he pointed out ethnic minorities, those with disabilities and sex orientation minorities are often on the receiving aim of Twitter hate.

The following charts, some of which were published recently by Digiday , investigated trolling behaviour and determined certain groups bear the brunt of Twitter hatred. The charts indicate misogynistic, anti-semitic and anti-Muslim tweets by the numbers and it is eye-opening.

Just last week the Anti-Defamation League seemed through the numbers of anti-Semitic tweets and abuse and found startling results . Jewish journalists( or those assumed to be Jewish) received an uptick in online abuse.

Image: anti-defamation league

British think-tank Demos, meanwhile, studied the online response to Brexit in the UK and tracked xenophobic and anti-Muslim posts. More than 16,000 tweets utilizing a word related to xenophobia or an anti-immigrant attitude were found between June 19 and July 1.

Image: demos

Anti-Muslim sentiment on Twitter is pervasive throughout the world. Demos found 4,123, 704 tweets that could be considered anti-Islamic between March 18 and June 30.

In relation to Brexit, there also appeared to be an uptick in Islamophobia on Twitter.

Image: demos

In another analyze, Brandwatch analyzed negative rhetoric toward girls. Over a four-year period, the social media monitoring company observed misogynistic insults on Twitter jumped at certain points, but healthier discussions about misogyny also increased, which is somewhat hopeful.

Brandwatch study designer Edward Crook told Mashable out of 19 million tweets analyzed “there still is misogynistic speech online, ” but those instances are being outnumbered by more positive interactions about females.

Image: brandwatch

Looking at the rise of hate groups online, a study released in September from George Washington University looked at the increase of white nationalists on Twitter.

The findings included that white nationalist movements have grown on Twitter by about 600 percent since 2012 and about 300 percent since 2014. That’s 6,567 adherents of a white nationalist motion in 2014 to 25,406 white patriots when the study “re coming out” at the beginning of September.

New York state licensed psychologist and forensic consultant Michael Nuccitelli told Mashable that the internet troll has evolved over the years.

“Eight to ten years ago, the internet troll would just piss you off and instigate you, ” he said. Now, the “sole purpose is to decimate your online reputation.” Look at the Twitter takedown of actress Leslie Jones earlier this year the racist and misogynistic attacks were so vile even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey noticed.

All this online hate happens to coincide with the presidential election. For the past year and a half it seems Twitter has become the platform of option to spew abuse. GOP candidate Donald Trump himself is a prolific Twitter user, and some of his posts border on abusive.

The Cyberbullying Research Center detected what might be a so-called “Trump effect” trickling down from social media sites to the school yard. A look at the reporting of U.S. middle-schoolers being bullied appears to have gone up when the presidential race get going in 2015.

Image: Cyberbullying research center

To turn these charts the other direction, Twitter may need to take a tougher approach on trolls. That might necessitate banning a huge swath of users that actually use the platform. It would be a been hit, especially for a company hurting for users, but could turn around the company’s image and make it a less hostile corner of the internet.

In a statement sent to Mashable Wednesday afternoon, Twitter explained how they are trying to cultivate an open, diverse platform while also maintaining user safety in mind.

“Twitter is unique because its live, its open, and the world is watching. We believe that everyone on Twitter should feel safe conveying diverse opinions and faiths, but behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another persons voice should have no place on our platform. The topic of online safety is complex and ever evolving and, while we know theres still much to be done, were making progress toward our goal of devoting people more control over their Twitter experience.”

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