A study has found that banning online trolls and the discussion groups where they hang out reduces hate speech and related problems.
The research paper, titled You Can’t Stay Here: The Efficacy of Reddit’s 2015 Ban Examined Through Hate Speech, was produced by academics from three universities.
The research studied the 2015 ban of two hate communities on Reddit – r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown.
“Looking at the causal effects of the ban on both participating users and affected communities, we found that the ban served a number of useful purposes for Reddit,” they said.
Users participating in the banned subreddits either left the site or, for those who remained, dramatically reduced their hate speech usage.
Communities which inherited the displaced activity of these users did not suffer from an increase in hate speech, they added.
“While the philosophical issues surrounding moderation are complex, the present work seeks to inform the discussion with results on the efficacy of banning deviant hate groups from Internet platforms.”