Running head: GAB HATE CORPUS 1
The Gab Hate Corpus: A collection of 27k posts annotated for hate speech
Brendan Kennedy1, Mohammad Atari2, Aida Mostafazadeh Davani1, Leigh Yeh1, Ali Omrani1,
Yehsong Kim2, Kris Koombs3, Shreya Havaldar1, Gwenyth Portillo-Wightman2, Elaine Gonzalez2,
Joe Hoover2, Aida Azatian†2, Alyzeh Hussain†2, Austin Lara†2, Gabriel Olmos†2, Adam Omary†2,
Christina Park†2, Clarisa Wang†2, Xin Wang†2, Yong Zhang†2, and Morteza Dehghani1,2
1Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California
2Department of Psychology, University of Southern California
3Department of Political Science, University of Southern California
†authors contributed equally. Correspondence regarding this article should be
addressed to Brendan Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 362 S. McClintock Ave, Los Angeles,
CA 90089-161. This research was sponsored by NSF CAREER BCS-1846531 to MD.
GAB HATE CORPUS 2
The growing prominence of online hate speech is a threat to a safe and just society. This
endangering phenomenon requires collaboration across the sciences in order to generate
evidence-based knowledge of, and policies for, the dissemination of hatred in online spaces.
To foster such collaborations, here we present the Gab Hate Corpus (GHC), consisting of
27,665 posts from the social network service gab.ai, each annotated by a minimum of
three trained annotators. Annotators were trained to label posts according to a coding
typology derived from a synthesis of hate speech deﬁnitions across legal, computational,
psychological, and sociological research. We detail the development of the corpus, describe
the resulting distributions of hate-based rhetoric, target group, and rhetorical framing
labels, and establish baseline classiﬁcation performance for each using standard natural
language processing methods. The GHC, which is the largest theoretically-justiﬁed,
annotated corpus of hate speech to date, provides opportunities for training and evaluating
hate speech classiﬁers and for scientiﬁc inquiries into the linguistic and network
components of hate speech.
Keywords: Hate speech, Theory-driven text analysis, Natural language processing,
Social Media, Open Data, Text Annotation
GAB HATE CORPUS 3
The Gab Hate Corpus: A collection of 27k posts annotated for hate speech
On the morning of October 27th, 2018, an anti-Semite walked into a synagogue in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and opened ﬁre, killing eleven and wounding six (Bradbury,
2018). The gruesome act of violence quickly gained attention due to the prejudiced
motivations of the shooter. The attack was against the Jewish people, motivated by an
utterly unfounded, intense hatred, and was documented by the perpetrator on his social
media account on “Gab” shortly before the act (Roose, 2018). gab.ai, an online social
network that claims to be devoted to the preservation of free speech, has become inhabited
by deplatformed white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other hate-mongering ideologues
(Grey Ellis, 2016), and is one of several online communities supporting hateful and abusive
rhetoric (Matsakis, 2018). Understanding and mitigating the spread of hatred, within
online platforms and extending to associated behavioral outcomes, is a clear challenge for
the modern world.
Political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists have studied hatred for decades,
theorizing the ways in which prejudice forms (Allport, Clark, & Pettigrew, 1954) and
manifests in violence (Müller & Schwarz, 2019), investigating the psychology of hate groups
(Glaser, Dixit, & Green, 2002), and documenting the impact of hatred on victims and the
marginalized (e.g., Herek, Gillis, & Cogan, 1999; McDevitt, Balboni, Garcia, & Gu, 2001).
Concurrently, legal scholars and public policy experts have debated and implemented
strategies for combating hate crime and hate speech, perpetually engaged in the debate of
free speech or hate speech censorship (e.g., J. W. Howard, 2019; Sellars, 2016). How online
hate speech ﬁts into these scientiﬁc and legal precedents is still being negotiated. The
United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; Gagliardone,
Gal, Alves, & Martinez, 2015) delivered a program for countering online hate speech,
outlining its particular challenges. Technology companies including Facebook (Community
Standards: 12 Hate Speech, 2020), Twitter (Hateful conduct policy, 2020), and Google
(Hate speech policy, 2020) have posted oﬃcial policies on hate speech and abusive language
GAB HATE CORPUS 4
that sometimes go beyond legal restrictions. The priority of these policies is to limit human
exposure to hateful content, and to facilitate the eﬀective removal of harmful content from
online platforms; to this end, natural language processing (NLP) researchers have devoted
signiﬁcant resources to developing detection algorithms for hate speech, abusive language,
and oﬀensive language (e.g., Davidson, Warmsley, Macy, & Weber, 2017; Warner &
Hirschberg, 2012; Waseem & Hovy, 2016).
The emergence of online hate speech and the growing problem of online
radicalization are part of the more general phenomena of outgroup hatred and prejudice. It
thus might be expected that perspectives from social scientists on these phenomena, which
are undeniably social, psychological, and political, can inform and evaluate policies and
detection strategies. While interdisciplinary work has begun to occur in hate speech
detection research, the current level of communication and collaboration between social
scientists, computer scientists, and legal and public policy experts is unsatisfactory.
Deﬁnitions of hate speech in computational work are mostly ad-hoc and atheoretical,
potentially inﬂuenced by the lack of legal consensus in deﬁning hatred and hate speech.
Research on hatred and prejudice in the social sciences is inhibited by the relative
inaccessibility of hate crimes and hate speech. Both are rare events that cannot be studied
in laboratory settings, individuals are likely to self-censor when reporting their attitudes
towards hate crime or hate speech, and engagement with hateful groups or ideas.
Consequently, deﬁnitions of hatred and prejudice in the social sciences are rarely
operationalized in quantitative analyses. Importantly, this precludes the possibility of
naturalistic observations of hateful behaviors and language, which Rozin (2001) and others
have identiﬁed as critical for the “. . . description of universal or contingent invariances” (p.
3) in socio-psychological phenomena.
In this work, we (a) review and synthesize prior work in multiple disciplines to
develop a theoretically-justiﬁed typology and coding guide (see Appendix A), (b) rigorously
train a cohort of undergraduate research assistants to accurately identify hate-based
GAB HATE CORPUS 5
rhetoric based on the developed coding guide (see Methods), (c) annotate 27,665 posts
from the social network platform Gab by a minimum of three trained annotators per post
(see Results), (d) run baseline as well as state-of-the-art machine learning models to
classify the entirety of the Gab corpus (see Results), and (e) publicly release this
expert-annotated large-scale dataset for usage in natural language processing research as
well as computational linguistic studies on psychology of hate speech (see Discussion).
Synthesizing Perspectives on Hate Speech
Historically, hate groups and hate crime have primarily been discussed within the
legal domain, centering on discussions of whether acts of hate, including violence,
intimidation, and defamation, are protected as free speech or ought to be criminalized
(J. W. Howard, 2019; Sellars, 2016). The term “hate speech” was coined fairly recently in
reference to a particular set of oﬀenses under the law: Matsuda (1989) argued that “the
active dissemination of racist propaganda means that citizens are denied personal security
and liberty as they go about their daily lives” (p. 2321). Online hate speech, which
possesses marked diﬀerences from oﬄine hate speech in terms of legal precedent
(Gagliardone et al., 2015), has begun to be policed not by countries, but by technology
companies, in part due to inconsistent free speech protections with regards to hateful or
oﬀensive language. In the U.S., which prides itself on its freedoms, particularly those of
speech (J. W. Howard, 2019), the “lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous and the
insulting or ‘ﬁghting’ words” (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942) are prohibited, but
what is commonly referred to as hate speech is viewed as the expression of a political idea
(RAV v. St. Paul, 1992). In contrast, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, and others
(see J. W. Howard, 2019) protect fewer classes of prejudicial expression. For example,
Germany’s “Volksverhetzung” (“incitement to hatred”) law prohibits “Assaults [on] the
human dignity of others”, including “den[ying] or downplay[ing] an act committed under
the rule of National Socialism” and “violat[ing] the dignity of the victims by approving of,
glorifying, or justifying National Socialist rule of arbitrary force” (German Criminal Code,
GAB HATE CORPUS 6
1998, Sec. 130).
The latter perspective identiﬁes hate speech according to its motivations and makes
explicit the cultural and societal contexts that inform its recognition by human judges —
e.g., condemning Holocaust denial recognizes the Holocaust and the intentions of those
trying to fabricate history. This focus on motivations and context is more appropriate for
those attempting to quantitatively study the socio-psychological components of organized
hatred and prejudice that are observed in hate speech. Pragmatically, it is also more
aligned with eﬀorts to counter hate speech, rather than simply detecting and censoring it
(Gagliardone et al., 2015; Waldron, 2012).
Other operationalizations of hate speech come from natural language processing
(NLP) researchers, who have developed algorithmic approaches to detect hate speech based
on a mix of manually coded examples (e.g., Schmidt & Wiegand, 2017; Warner &
Hirschberg, 2012; Waseem & Hovy, 2016) and keyword-based ﬁltering (e.g., Davidson et
al., 2017; Olteanu, Castillo, Boy, & Varshney, 2018). Deﬁnitions used in manually coding
display task-speciﬁc and data-speciﬁc features, for example the enumeration of speciﬁc
stereotypes (e.g., Warner & Hirschberg, 2012) and oﬀensive violations (e.g., Waseem &
Hovy, 2016). Related categories of language similar to hate speech are also considered in
NLP research, including abusive language (e.g., Nobata, Tetreault, Thomas, Mehdad, &
Chang, 2016), incivility (e.g., Anderson, Brossard, Scheufele, Xenos, & Ladwig, 2014),
hateful stereotypes (e.g., Warner & Hirschberg, 2012), oﬀensive language (e.g., Davidson et
al., 2017), and personal attacks (e.g., Wulczyn, Thain, & Dixon, 2017). Like Germany, the
Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and others, some NLP research uses deﬁnitions that take
into account societal and cultural context. For example, Warner and Hirschberg (2012)
consider hate speech to be “harmful stereotypes”, which require a level of cultural
knowledge or familiarity. Similarly, Waseem and Hovy (2016) identiﬁed one type of
oﬀensive language as the expression of support for harmful ideologies on social media,
which is protected free speech in the U.S. but can be unlawful in countries like Germany,
GAB HATE CORPUS 7
depending on the ideology being supported. However, much of the research has focused on
the identiﬁcation of disallowed behavior on an online platform, rather than identifying
violations according to a speciﬁc country’s hate speech legislation.
While abusive (e.g., insults) or oﬀensive (e.g., swearing) language are deﬁned by
form, hate speech is deﬁned by function. It’s functional role depends on the relationship
between the perpetrator and the target’s group; it is designed by the perpetrator to
“. . . besmirch the basics of their reputation, by associating ascriptive characteristics like
ethnicity, or race, or religion with conduct or attributes that should disqualify someone
from being treated as a member of society in good standing” (Waldron, 2012, p. 5). The
action of hate speech is critical: to attack, assault, or subvert another individual or group’s
standing. This assault is not random, but calculated to achieve some social utility. Perry
(2002) wrote of hate crime, “Bias-motivated crime provides an arena within which white
males in particular can reaﬃrm their place in a complex hierarchy and respond to perceived
threats from challengers of the structure — especially immigrants, people of color, women,
and homosexuals” (p. 3). Understanding the motivations and conditions for hate-motivated
violence must take into account the existing cultural and social context in which it occurs:
“Hate crime . . . is much more than the act of mean-spirited bigots. It is embedded in the
structural and cultural context within which groups interact . . . [I]t is a socially situated,
dynamic process, involving context and actors, structure, and agency” (Perry, 2002, p. 2).
Thus the deﬁnition of hate speech in this work is not strictly legal, nor is it
socio-psychological in nature, rather it is a synthesis of what the hate crime and hate
speech literature collectively regards as the “intentional verbalization of prejudice against a
social group”. We refer to this construct as “hate-based rhetoric”, which is distinct from
any particular deﬁnition in the legal or public policy community, though it bears overall
similarities to deﬁnitions of hate crime in sociology and psychology.
GAB HATE CORPUS 8
Mapping Hate-Based Rhetoric to Data
In computational research, the supremacy of supervised machine learning — i.e.,
statistical learning by example — has made it one of the default paradigms for automating
information extraction from large datasets. Recent work in computational social science, in
particular the Moral Foundations Twitter Corpus (MFTC; Hoover et al., 2020), have
applied the principles of supervised learning to text data, thereby facilitating out-of-sample
prediction and analyses of the importance of linguistic features of socio-psychological
phenomena. The annotation of hate speech is widely practiced in computational research
(e.g., Davidson et al., 2017; de Gibert, Perez, García-Pablos, & Cuadros, 2018; Warner &
Hirschberg, 2012) for the purposes of training and evaluating detection algorithms. The
present work shares this objective, and more: annotating socio-psychological constructs
such as hate speech or moral sentiment additionally requires the operationalization of
sometimes ill-deﬁned or under-deﬁned phenomena, encouraging more ﬁne-grained
conceptualizations of the construct in question.
For example, typological deﬁnitions of hate speech, while sometimes lacking in
theoretical justiﬁcation, can inform on its sub-components, such as the groups targeted or
the rhetorical devices used. Of note is the approach of Warner and Hirschberg (2012),
which described hate speech according to its variable linguistic forms depending on the
group being targeted: “[E]ach stereotype has a language all its own, with one-word
epithets, phrases, concepts, metaphors and juxtapositions that convey hateful intent
. . . Anti-hispanic [sic] speech might make reference to border crossing or legal identiﬁcation.
Anti-African American speech often references unemployment or single parent upbringing.
And anti-semitic [sic] language often refers to money, banking and media” (p. 21).
A Typology of Hate-Based Rhetoric
Informed by our review of scholarly work in the area of hate speech, we apply the
typology-driven methodologies of computational research towards a typology of hate-based
GAB HATE CORPUS 9
rhetoric. This hierarchical coding typology was used to facilitate a more consistent,
informed annotation across annotators, as well as develop more structured information,
such as the categorization of target populations (Mondal, Silva, & Benevenuto, 2017) and
framing eﬀects (Olteanu et al., 2018; Waseem, Davidson, Warmsley, & Weber, 2017). The
full version of the typology used to train annotators, which includes our deﬁnitions,
explanations of categories, and examples, is included in Appendix A.
Hate-based rhetoric is determined by the extent to which it is dehumanizing,
attacking human dignity, derogating, inciting violence, or supporting hateful ideology, such
as white supremacy. An important component of hate-based rhetoric is that occurrences of
such language are explicitly directed towards a social group. According to our presented
typology, documents were coded “assaults on human dignity” (HD) or “calls for violence”
(CV) if they satisﬁed both of these criteria. Speciﬁcally, the HD category broadly includes
the assertion or implication of inferiority of a given group by virtue of intelligence, genetics,
or other human capacity or quality; degrading or dehumanizing a group, by comparison to
subhuman entity or the use of hateful slurs in a manner intended to cause harm; the
incitement of hatred through the use of a harmful group stereotype, historical or political
reference, or by the endorsement of a known hate group or ideology. This categorization is
speciﬁcally supported by legal codes in Germany, which illegalize speech “not only
. . . because of their likelihood to lead to harm, but also for their intrinsic content”
(Gagliardone et al., 2015, p. 11).
The separation of HD and CV was done according to legal precedent, best
summarized by the following two-class speciﬁcation given by The United Nations
Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): (a) “Expressions that
advocate incitement to harm (particularly, discrimination, hostility or violence) based upon
the target’s being identiﬁed with a certain social or demographic group; (b) A broader
category including “expressions that foster a climate of prejudice and intolerance on the
assumption that this may fuel targeted discrimination, hostility and violent acts”
GAB HATE CORPUS 10
(Gagliardone et al., 2015, p. 10). Thus language classiﬁed with CV was judged to be a
particular incitement to violence, which either directly or indirectly called for or otherwise
advocated violence against a group or an individual because of their group membership.
In the evaluation of slurs against group identity (race, ethnicity, religion,
nationality, ideology, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), we deﬁne such instances as
“hate-based” if they are used in a manner intended to wound; this naturally excludes the
casual or colloquial use of hate slurs. As an example, the adaptation of the N-slur
(replacing the “-er” with “-a”) often implies colloquial usage. In addition, phrases such as
“I hate my mother-in-law’s guts” should not be classiﬁed as hate speech as the target is not
hated for their group identity. Our full typology and workﬂow that annotators were to
follow is visualized in Figure 1.
Figure 1 . Procedure for coding a text according to the “hate-based rhetoric” deﬁnition.
Primary categories for hate speech are HD and CV, while VO can apply to both hateful
and non-hateful texts. Framing (IM/EX) and targeted group apply only to hateful texts,
and targeted group labels are non-exclusive
According to the review of the literature and our proposed annotation schema,
GAB HATE CORPUS 11
independent of whether or not a document is hateful, we annotate documents according to
their usage of “Vulgarity and/or Oﬀensive language” (VO). Both innocent and malicious
usage of slurs and insults can be VO without being HD or CV, if there is no group-level
attack (i.e., the attack is against an individual and not on account of their group-level
characteristics). Oﬀensive language (i.e., VO) is only violating human dignity (HD) if
targeting a group or a group’s characteristics. Similarly, attacks or insults (VO) directed at
individuals are only calls for violence (CV) when they are justiﬁed by the subject’s
membership in a group or segment of the population. In terms of attacked group identity,
we label attacks on nationality/regionalism (e.g., xenophobia), race or ethnicity (e.g.,
anti-Black), gender (e.g., anti-woman, anti-man, anti-trans), religious or spiritual identity
(e.g., anti-Muslim), sexual orientation (e.g., anti-lesbian), ideology (e.g., anti-“leftist”),
political identiﬁcation (e.g., anti-Republican), and mental or physical health status (e.g.,
ableism). Lastly, we used a single binary dimension in an attempt to annotate texts’
“framing” eﬀects. Consistent with Waseem et al. (2017), who introduced the notion of
“explicit” versus “implicit” speech as “.. . roughly analogous to the distinction in linguistics
and semiotics between denotation, the literal meaning of a term or symbol, and
connotation, its sociocultural associations” (p. 2), we code texts for implicit (vs. explicit)
framing. Implicit rhetoric is most often an invocation of derogatory beliefs, sentiments, or
threats which are accessible through cultural knowledge.
We aim to accurately apply grounded deﬁnitions of hate speech to text in order to
build a comprehensive resource of annotated hate speech. In addition to the lack of
theoretical coherence in hate speech coding typologies used in previous computational
work, a pressing concern is the potential harm for annotators in producing these valuable
While no research has yet examined the eﬀects of consistent, daily exposure to hate
GAB HATE CORPUS 12
speech on human moderators, there is evidence that exposure to online abuse may have
negative mental health consequences (Levin, 2017; Ybarra, Mitchell, Wolak, & Finkelhor,
2006). Exposure to hate speech is associated with symptoms of trauma exposure, higher
liability assessments of targets, and low self-esteem (Boeckmann & Liew, 2002; Leets,
2002). A number of technology companies have recently been sued by their workers
claiming that moderating traumatic content resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD; Hern, 2019; Levin, 2017). Within the DSM-5, the premier diagnostic manual for
psychological disorders, second-hand exposure to traumatic material can lead to PTSD
when exposure is “repeated or extreme,” of which content moderation is both (American
Psychiatric Association, 2013). PTSD symptoms resulting from indirect trauma exposure
through work is common enough that in the literature there are a number of terms to
describe these mental health consequences, including “secondary traumatic stress”,
“compassion fatigue”, and “vicarious traumatization” (Ludick & Figley, 2017; May &
Wisco, 2016). These consequences have been studied in police oﬃcers, ﬁrst responders, and
social workers, among others (Kleim & Westphal, 2011; Perez, Jones, Englert, & Sachau,
2010; Wagaman, Geiger, Shockley, & Segal, 2015), but not yet content moderators. Thus,
while no research has directly tested the eﬀects of continuous exposure to hateful or violent
content in moderators, such consequences should be investigated further, as most of online
hate speech is currently policed by human moderators. Furthermore, if similar patterns of
secondary traumatic stress are found in this group, lessons may be learned from secondary
trauma prevention and treatment of other trauma-exposed professionals (Bell, Kulkarni, &
Dalton, 2003; Kaplan, Bergman, Christopher, Bowen, & Hunsinger, 2017; Kleim &
GAB HATE CORPUS 13
Sampling documents for hate speech annotation is diﬃcult due to sparsity and are
consequently non-representative (Wiegand, Ruppenhofer, & Kleinbauer, 2019). Since
randomly sampling posts from venues like Twitter results in very few hate speech
examples, keywords and topic-based sampling strategies are used to collect data. This
biases hate speech datasets to the given keywords and topics. Such non-representativeness
is most problematic when considering the generalizable quality of predictors: models that
are built on a narrow slice of data (e.g., containing only documents with group names like
“black”, “women”, and “Muslim”) are unlikely to generate accurate predictions for
documents in a wider, more diverse sample of language (Wiegand et al., 2019). Further,
models might be biased to detect hate speech transgressions against certain groups, but
miss those against groups not represented by keywords or topic-based ﬁltering (Dixon, Li,
Sorensen, Thain, & Vasserman, 2018).
Resolving the data quality issues that come from biased sampling is an open issue.
In our research we select a non-representative online social community and sample posts
totally randomly, providing a corpus more representative of the language of hate speech
(though potentially atypical in other ways, given the irregularity of a community that
frequently posts hate speech). An independently developed study also takes this approach
to gathering hate speech data, considering the online platform of “Stormfront”, which is
populated by white nationalists (de Gibert et al., 2018). We downloaded Gab posts from
the public dump of the data by Pushshift.io1(Gaﬀney, 2018) and randomly sampled
∼28,000 posts for annotation. Posts were sampled only if they met a reasonable threshold
for textual content (at least three non-hyperlink tokens).
GAB HATE CORPUS 14
Annotators were undergraduate research assistants (RAs) trained by ﬁrst reading
the typology and coding manual and then passing a test of about thirty messages that had
been previously annotated and agreed upon in terms of their hate-based rhetoric labels.
All materials are available in Appendix A. RAs performed annotation via a secure online
platform, which provided them with the option to halt annotation at any time.
Annotators were provided with a written guide to prevent secondary trauma, which
encouraged annotators to pay attention to signs of hyperarousal, attend to changes in
cognition, take breaks, and avoid picturing traumatic situations. It also encouraged
annotators to contact researchers if they were experiencing symptoms of PTSD, which were
also listed on the guide. This guide attempted to normalize feeling negatively impacted by
the work, provide trauma- speciﬁc education, help monitor for signs of traumatic stress,
and provide a mechanism of support as preventative measures against secondary traumatic
stress (Bell et al., 2003). While this measure was put into place to reduce the risk of
secondary traumatic stress, several annotators dropped out of the study due to the burden
associated with annotating hate speech. Future researchers may consider implementation
of other preventative and treatment interventions for secondary traumatic stress including
repeated assessment of vulnerability factors, identiﬁcation of at-risk groups within
annotators for traumatic stress, continuous self-care and supervision, and mindfulness
training (Kaplan et al., 2017; Kleim & Westphal, 2011).
The number of posts annotated per annotator (n= 18, M= 5,109, Mdn = 4,044)
ranged from 288 to 13543. Posts were included that were annotated by at least three
Annotating hate speech has been documented to result in high levels of annotator
disagreement (e.g., Ross et al., 2017), attributed to a combination of factors, including
GAB HATE CORPUS 15
annotator diﬀerences in understanding of the deﬁnition of hate speech, interpretations of
the annotated texts, or evaluating harms done to certain groups (i.e., inconsistent
application of the hate speech deﬁnition to diﬀerent social groups; see
Mostafazadeh Davani, Atari, Kennedy, Havaldar, and Dehghani (2020)). To evaluate the
overall levels of inter-annotator agreement, we computed Fleiss’s kappa for multiple
annotators (Fleiss, 1971) as well as the Prevalence-Adjusted and Bias-Adjusted Kappa
(PABAK; Byrt, Bishop, & Carlin, 1993). PABAK is appropriate with imbalanced labels,
which are present in this corpus, as kappa is known to underestimate annotator agreement
in such cases.
In Table 1, we list Fleiss’s kappa and PABAK for the three top-level labels in our
typology (HD, CV, VO), where kappas are computed over the entire corpus (N= 27,655).
We also provide the binary label distribution (percent positive) for each using a
majority-vote of annotators (ties broken towards positive). In Table 2, we provide Fleiss’s
kappa and PABAK for only annotations that have either HD or CV as positive. We
provide the binary label distribution for each target and framing label overall, as well as for
positive HD documents (by majority vote) and positive CV documents (by majority vote).
Inter-annotator agreement kappas and binary label distribution (percent positive) of
majority vote-aggregation for assaults on human dignity (HD), calls to violence (CV), and
vulgar or oﬀensive language (VO).
HD CV VO
Fleiss 0.23 0.28 0.30
PABAK 0.67 0.97 0.79
Positive % 8.5% 0.6% 6.3%
Distribution of Aggregated Labels
Aggregating each annotator’s labels into one label set per document is left to the
user of the corpus. In the present work, we aggregate by majority-vote for descriptive
purposes, a standard procedure when dealing with multiple annotations (e.g. Garten,
GAB HATE CORPUS 16
Inter-annotator agreement kappas and binary label distributions for target population and
framing labels. Kappas are computed from the set of annotations where either HD or CV is
labeled as positive. Target labels denote hate-based rhetoric on basis of religion (REL),
race/ethnicity (RAE), sexual orientation (SXO), ideology (IDL), nationality (NAT),
political aﬃliation (POL), and mental or physical health status (MPH). Framing labels
denote hate-based rhetoric which is explicit (EX) or implicit (IM).
REL RAE SXO IDL NAT POL MPH EX IM
Fleiss 0.65 0.62 0.70 0.42 0.43 0.47 0.32 0.16 0.22
PABAK 0.76 0.67 0.92 0.67 0.72 0.66 0.92 0.20 0.37
Overall (27665) 3.1% 3.5% 0.7% 1.6% 1.5% 2.3% 0.2% 5.9% 1.8%
Majority HD (2349) 21.9% 29.4% 5.9% 10.5% 9.6% 14.5% 1.6% 51.0% 14.0%
Majority CV (155) 18.7% 13.5% 3.9% 14.8% 10.3% 12.3% 1.3% 65.2% 3.9%
Kennedy, Sagae, & Dehghani, 2019; Lin et al., 2018; Warner & Hirschberg, 2012). In Table
1, the overall binary distributions of the three main labels is displayed. Approximately 9%
of the entire corpus is either HD or CV, as decided by a majority of the annotators. In
addition, 6% of the entire corpus contains vulgar, oﬀensive, or attacking language that does
not reference the target’s group identity.
In Table 2, the distribution of targeted populations as well as the implicit or explicit
framing are displayed. Note that the coverage of these positive percentages are not
complete, given that annotations that did not label a document as either HD or CV were
not considered, and this proportion was a non-insigniﬁcant part of the majority-aggregated
positive class. One can see that the two most common target populations were
religious/ethnicity (∼29% of HD and ∼14% of CV) and religious (∼22% of HD and ∼19%
of CV). The majority of hate-based rhetoric in the GHC are explicit in their rhetoric,
though 14% of HD documents conveyed their hatred through subliminal, more
Hate speech classiﬁcation is one of the major objectives of the GHC, for a variety of
purposes: general purpose detection, for moderating online social platforms; applying
GAB HATE CORPUS 17
predictive models to other, large datasets for downstream analysis; and post-hoc
deconstruction of linguistic features associated with annotated hate speech. In order to
establish classiﬁcation baselines, here we provide cross-validated metrics of performance for
three methods which are representative of many of the standard approaches used in NLP:
bag of words modeling, dictionary-based measures, and language model ﬁne-tuning. We
apply these methods to the HD and VO labels, and leave further analysis of target
population and framing to others. We also train models on the “Hate” label, which is the
annotator-level union of HD and CV, given that CV labels are too sparse to provide
enough signal to train predictive models.
After evaluating each classiﬁer, we apply it to the full dataset of Gab posts released
by Gaﬀney (2018), in order to estimate the distribution of hate-based rhetoric on the entire
social network. Using retrained models using the best-ﬁt parameters of the TF–IDF and
LIWC models, and the best-performing ﬁne-tuned BERT model weights (by F1), we
predicted labels for HD, Hate, and VO over 15,675,294 data points, which were ﬁltered
from the original dataset by whether they included at least three valid tokens.
Our ﬁrst two methods for representing text operate within the bag of words
framework — that is, documents are represented by the (normalized) count of each word in
a ﬁxed vocabulary. First, Term Frequency–Inverse Document Frequency (TF–IDF) is a
general-purpose method for normalizing word frequencies by their inverse document
frequency, which was popularized in information retrieval (Aizawa, 2003) and remains a
strong baseline in text prediction (e.g., Joulin, Grave, Bojanowski, & Mikolov, 2017).
Second, we use the primary set of psychological dictionaries from the 2015 Linguistic
Inquiry and Word Count program (LIWC; Pennebaker, Boyd, Jordan, & Blackburn, 2015),
totalling 73 categories of words deﬁned according to psychological or linguistic attributes
— e.g., aﬀect, social, part of speech, and topic. LIWC is used for this analysis both for its
GAB HATE CORPUS 18
established presence — many psychological constructs have been coded and measured
through LIWC dictionaries — and the potential intersection between known psychological
constructs, as measured through word occurrence, and hate speech. We apply TF–IDF and
LIWC normalized word counting to the entire corpus and apply Support Vector Machines
(SVM; Cortes & Vapnik, 1995) for classiﬁcation with these two feature sets. SVMs learn a
classiﬁcation boundary by mapping training data into high-dimensional space, and ﬁnding
the widest gap between diﬀering classes. Unseen test data is then mapped into the same
space, and classiﬁed based on their position with regards to the boundary. SVMs are
particularly eﬀective statistical learners and are established as a standard in text
classiﬁcation (Joachims, 1998).
In addition to these two standards in text analysis, we apply the emerging state of
the art in NLP research, consisting of the transfer of learned linguistic knowledge from
language modeling to potentially small-scale downstream applications (Devlin, Chang, Lee,
& Toutanova, 2018; J. Howard & Ruder, 2018; Liu, Gardner, Belinkov, Peters, & Smith,
2019; Peters et al., 2018; Radford, Narasimhan, Salimans, & Sutskever, 2018). We apply
one of the most successful techniques, ﬁne-tuning “Bidirectional Encoder Representations
from Transformers” (BERT; Devlin et al., 2018) using the Pytorch (Paszke et al., 2019)
implementation of Transformer language model ﬁne-tuning by “Huggingface”2(Wolf et al.,
2019). BERT consists of a large neural network (either 12 or 24 layers) which learns an
advanced degree of compositionality, syntax, and word meaning through series of predictive
language modeling objectives, including predicting missing words in sentences as well as
the order of sentences. The eﬃcacy of BERT and similar models is in transfer: model
weights are saved, distributed, and subsequently “ﬁne-tuned” on downstream tasks. In
ﬁne-tuning, models which have been previously “pre-trained” on massive text corpora,
ranging from books, online media, and Wikipedia, are trained on a prediction task such as
text classiﬁcation, reﬁning model weights in order to maximize task performance. In the
GAB HATE CORPUS 19
present work, we adopt this ﬁne-tuning approach, taking BERT models trained on massive
text datasets and adjusting them for the classiﬁcation tasks of this corpus.
SVM models are ﬁt to each feature set (TF–IDF and LIWC) with the scikit-learn
v0.22.1 (Pedregosa et al., 2011) Python 3.6 machine learning library. Default parameters of
the “LinearSVC” class (implementing Fan, Chang, Hsieh, Wang, and Lin (2008)’s SVM
with linear kernel) were used, except for C(controlling level of L2 regularization) and class
weight (controlling whether losses are weighted according to class imbalance or not), which
were selected based on grid search. BERT models were ﬁne-tuned following the instructions
of (BERT; Devlin et al., 2018). First, each post was tokenized as described in the original
paper. As around 99% of the posts had less than 100 tokens, thus we kept the ﬁrst 100
tokens of each post. We used a batch size of 16 and ﬁne-tuned the pre-trained BERT
model for 4 epochs. Using one Nvidia 2080 Super GPU, each training epoch took about
ﬁve minutes. No additional parameter tuning or early stopping was performed, thus further
work can determine the maximum predictive performance obtainable through BERT.
All models were evaluated by ten-fold cross-validation. In Table 3, the average and
standard deviation of four diﬀerent metrics — accuracy, precision, recall, and F1score —
are reported for predicting labels of the majority-aggregated dataset. F1 score is the
harmonic mean between precision and recall, and is commonly used to evaluate
classiﬁcation on imbalanced data, since accuracy is artiﬁcially high in these cases. High
precision indicates that a model is more conservative in predicting the positive class, high
recall indicates that a model learns a more comprehensive representation of the positive
class, and high F1indicates an ideal balance between the two. Accuracy scores are high
GAB HATE CORPUS 20
due to the sparsity of the prediction tasks, and are less meaningful than F1.
Mean and standard deviation of F1, precision, recal l, and accuracy for predicting HD, VO,
and Hate (union of HD and CV) across 10-fold cross validation.
Model Label F1Accuracy Precision Recall
HD 0.26 (0.01) 0.71 (0.01) 0.60 (0.03) 0.17 (0.01)
LIWC VO 0.33 (0.02) 0.85 (0.01) 0.58 (0.03) 0.23 (0.01)
Hate 0.39 (0.02) 0.71 (0.01) 0.56 (0.03) 0.30 (0.02)
HD 0.40 (0.02) 0.84 (0.01) 0.62 (0.03) 0.29 (0.02)
TF-IDF VO 0.42 (0.03) 0.89 (0.01) 0.65 (0.05) 0.31 (0.02)
Hate 0.53 (0.02) 0.81 (0.01) 0.66 (0.02) 0.44 (0.01)
HD 0.44 (0.03) 0.92 (0.01) 0.46 (0.03) 0.42 (0.02)
BERT VO 0.42 (0.03) 0.94 (0.00) 0.45 (0.03) 0.39 (0.03)
Hate 0.58 (0.02) 0.87 (0.01) 0.58 (0.02) 0.57 (0.02)
LIWC and TF–IDF predicted labels are less accurate, though overall more
conservative estimates. BERT predicted labels have higher coverage of hate, and are
overall more accurate. Within this overall improvement, BERT models exchanged a higher
false positive rate (higher precision) for a lower false negative rate (high recall). The low
precision of BERT models was not due to an inferior modeling capacity, but merely to the
way in which the ﬁne-tuning was performed. SVM models were trained used class
weighting, in which the loss from each binary class was weighted inversely according to
frequency; i.e., sparse positive classes were prioritized. Performing class weighting while
ﬁne-tuning BERT is possible, though non-trivial, and was not performed in this work. It is
expected that a class-weighted BERT model would achieve greater F1 performance than
the presented model due to an increase in model precision. In the case of VO, the margin
between TF–IDF and BERT was slight, suggesting that the presence of oﬀensive and
abusive language is suﬃcient signal for capturing VO. The low performance of LIWC
relative to both TF–IDF and BERT can likely be explained by the high dependence of
GAB HATE CORPUS 21
hate-based rhetoric on non-dictionary words, including social group terms (e.g., “jew”),
slurs, and the lower representational power of LIWC in comparison to BERT and other
transfer-learning methods. TF–IDF and ﬁne-tuned BERT classiﬁers were applied to the
full Gab corpus, yielding labels for HD, Hate, and VO for 15,675,294 Gab posts. These
labels are released as part of the GHC. The binary distributions of each label, produced by
each model, are included in Table 4
VO 1.2% 4.7%
HD 1.6% 8.0%
Hate 6.7% 18.3%
Distribution of labels over the full release of Gab (N = 15,675,294).
The GHC is available at https://osf.io/edua3/. The release of the dataset
includes a full record of each annotation (n= 91,967) for all posts, as well as a release of
the predicted hate-based rhetoric labels for each classiﬁer reported above. Annotators are
anonymized to random, nondescriptive identiﬁers. Users of the GHC can perform
aggregation of the annotations either as reported in the present work (majority vote) or
through other techniques. All Gab user information is removed from the released dataset,
aside from unique, random identiﬁers assigned to each user. The release of predicted labels
includes document IDs corresponding to the original IDs found in the Pushshift release of
Future additions to the GHC will include annotator information, including
demographics, Implicit Association Test (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998), and
measures on attitudes towards hate crime and hate speech censorship and policies
(Cabeldue, Cramer, Kehn, Crosby, & Anastasi, 2018).
GAB HATE CORPUS 22
We introduced the GHC, a large-scale corpus annotated for hate-based rhetoric
according to a synthesis of psychological, sociological, computational, and legal deﬁnitions
of hate speech. At its core, the GHC represents the operationalization of hate speech as a
socio-psychological construct, deﬁned by the functional role of hate speech within existing
social hierarchies. It complements and extends previous annotation data projects, notably
Davidson et al. (2017), Waseem and Hovy (2016), and de Gibert et al. (2018), through the
comprehensiveness of its typology, its theoretical basis, and its novel data domain. The size
of the corpus makes it particularly suitable for computational analyses, whether their goals
are detection or analysis, given the high sample complexity of state of the art models in
NLP. Most importantly, the GHC is publicly available, creating the possibility of
collaboration between computer scientists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists,
legal scholars, public policy experts, and others who aim to measure, understand, and/or
mitigate hate speech and prejudice in online media.
The data annotation paradigm which we present here represents an emerging
approach in computational social science for studying compositional textual phenomena —
i.e., socio-psychological constructs in language that are not captured by the presence or
non-presence of a particular keyword, or set of keywords. In computational linguistics,
annotation is an established approach for studying syntactic and semantic structure in
natural language (e.g., Banarescu et al., 2013; Hovy, Marcus, Palmer, Ramshaw, &
Weischedel, 2006; Marcus, Santorini, & Marcinkiewicz, 1993). However, annotation can
also be a “psychological” task. Annotation is used in sentiment analysis and opinion
mining (Pang, Lee, et al., 2008; Pang, Lee, & Vaithyanathan, 2002), in which subjective
aspects of text are manually labeled and used for training classiﬁers (e.g., Agarwal, Xie,
Vovsha, Rambow, & Passonneau, 2011). Similarly, here we performed
psychologically-informed expert annotation of hate-based rhetoric, an inherently subjective
phenomenon. Large-scale text annotation is a relatively new paradigm in psychology (see
GAB HATE CORPUS 23
Hoover et al., 2020). It bears some similarities to established annotation paradigms in
computational linguistics — notably, the evaluation of inter-annotator agreement and the
generation of training labels for machine learning algorithms — but it expands on
established methods in important ways, notably in the amount of subjectivity involved in
producing annotations and scientiﬁc applications of the corpus beyond classiﬁcation.
We emphasize these two distinctions of annotation of socio-psychological
phenomena — subjectivity and scientiﬁc applications — for future work dealing with the
GHC. Annotating socio-psychological phenomena is not the same as measuring objective
linguistic phenomena (e.g., tagging the parts of speech of words in a sentence), in which
disagreement can be conﬁdently attributed to random variation in the data or poorly
speciﬁed instructions. In considering the variation in individuals’ treatment of diﬀerent
social groups’ warmth and competence (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007),
Mostafazadeh Davani et al. (2020) provided initial evidence that models trained on the
GHC take on human-like social stereotypes, evaluating hate speech diﬀerently depending
on the stereotypes associated with the named target group. Future research can proceed in
this vein, both quantifying and correcting variability in annotations that are driven by
diﬀerences in psychological characteristics.
Remaining questions about the GHC are largely technical, and have to do with
building, evaluating, and deconstructing models of hate-based rhetoric. Hate speech
models are known to suﬀer from a “bias” problem (Wiegand et al., 2019), i.e., they contain
the imbalances and irregularities that are seen in the language distribution of hate speech
datasets. The same is true for the GHC: Kennedy, Jin, Mostafazadeh Davani, Dehghani,
and Ren (2020) found that state of the art models trained on the GHC disproportionately
associate the presence of group-level terms with hate-based rhetoric. Terms like “jew” and
“black”, when found in an innocuous (e.g., informative, conversational, etc.) context,
inﬂuenced models to judge a piece of text as hate speech. Correcting this oversensitivity to
group terms was done by applying term-level regularization to group terms through
GAB HATE CORPUS 24
post-hoc explanation algorithms (Jin, Du, Wei, Xue, & Ren, 2019); in other words, models
were constrained to only partially use group terms in their representations. The result was
that models were better able to capture hate-based rhetoric and less likely to misjudge
innocuous occurrences of group terms. In general, further research into identifying and
mitigating bias in hate speech models is supported by the GHC.
The desired result unbiased, high-powered classiﬁers trained on the GHC is that
they can be conﬁdently applied to algorithmically label data that are not yet annotated.
Transferring annotated information in this way can be used to infer the distribution of
hate-based rhetoric in various domains, such as mainstream social media, transcripts of
political speeches or other political documents, news articles and reporting, and the rest of
the Gab domain. For example, Hoover et al. (2019) trained hate speech classiﬁers on a
subset of the GHC and applied them to the entire Gab corpus, thereby analyzing the
correlation of moral and hateful sentiments across an exhaustive sample of hate. Previous
work in computational social science which has utilized this approach sought to understand
the eﬀect of moral rhetoric in online social movements, particular as they relate to violence
at protests (Mooijman, Hoover, Lin, Ji, & Dehghani, 2018).
More recently, Atari et al. (2020) used predicted labels using the GHC to determine
the relationship between group homophily in terms of moral values and the intensity of
hate-based rhetoric in Gab. These authors also annotated a small dataset from misogynist
subreddit (Incels), ﬁnding that GHC-trained classiﬁers can accurately detect hate speech in
other platforms such as Reddit. By annotating large numbers of posts from these platforms
and training neural networks showcased in this paper, they automatically labeled millions
of Gab and Incels posts.
Hate speech, particularly its online presence, is a harmful and endangering social
act that clearly requires coordinated research across disciplines and sectors. The present
GAB HATE CORPUS 25
work contributes to this coordination by developing a large-scale resource for
computational modeling and analysis. The GHC will beneﬁt computational modeling
research, facilitating a more theoretically-informed quantiﬁcation of hate speech, providing
a large-scale resource with high quality annotation according to a multi-level typology, and
clearly identifying modeling challenges. The questions that are as yet unanswered
regarding the subjectivity of annotation can be addressed by psychological research, where
existing theoretical frameworks can be applied in order to attribute systematic diﬀerences
in annotation. The present work supports the emerging possibility of studying the
psychology of prejudice and hate speech through language. These are practically diﬃcult
phenomena to study empirically, and language — including unobtrusive observations of
anonymous online posts — oﬀers a cheap and accessible window to reaching radicalized
individuals as well as their rhetorical tools.
GAB HATE CORPUS 26
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The below text was originally written for the purpose of deﬁning hate-based rhetoric and
training annotators. The original version is available at https://psyarxiv.com/hqjxn/.
Deﬁning Hate-Based Rhetoric
Our research into hate speech is deeply rooted in trying to understand — and thus
prevent or counter — the harm achieved by hate speech and the means by which it is
achieved. What marks the diﬀerence between oﬀensive language and hate speech (i.e.
Davidson et al., 2017)? When can we say that abusive language is motivated by hate or
prejudice? What historical contexts, when invoked, constitute an incitement to hatred or
violence? In order to address such questions, we look to two dynamics which are at the
core of hate speech and prejudice: the assault committed against the dignity of the target,
and the intent to commit such assaults by the speaker. Waldron (2012) further explains
A person’s dignity is ... their social standing, the fundamentals of basic
reputation that entitle them to be treated as equals in the ordinary operations
of society ... The publication of hate speech is calculated to undermine this. Its
aim is to compromise the dignity of those at whom it is targeted, both in their
own eyes and in the eyes of other members of society. It aims to besmirch the
basics of their reputation, by associating ascriptive characteristics like ethnicity,
or race, or religion with conduct or attributes that should disqualify someone
from being treated as a member of society in good standing (p. 5).
This holistic deﬁnition of hate speech is shared by legal bodies other than the U.S.,
including Germany. Where the U.S. requires proof of a speech act’s relation to the harm of
the target, countries like Germany prohibit certain types of rhetoric “not only ... because
GAB HATE CORPUS 36
of their likelihood to lead to harm, but also for their intrinsic content" (Gagliardone et al.,
2015, p. 11).
An additional point of emphasis from the German laws on hate speech is the role of
historical context in the deﬁnition of hate speech. Whereas the U.S. has a restricted view
of what constitutes “ﬁghting words", Germany (and other European countries with holistic
views of hate speech) prohibit denying/downplaying the Holocaust, as well as other,
historically motivated attacks on a previously marginalized or victimized group. In the
U.S., many words, stereotypes, and assertions have a particular historical use as a means to
insult a particular group, communicate a lesser status about a particular group, or
otherwise normalize and extend the power of a dominant group. We can observe this in
racial prejudice and other attacks on groups which have a history of being oppressed in
their local context.
Thus we are theoretically motivated by two elements of German laws in deﬁning hate
speech: its holistic view of the ability of language alone to wound and dehumanize, and its
perspective on the role of historical context. And while the German law is perhaps the
most famous, any number of other countries’ laws could be used in deﬁning hate speech.
From these combined sources, we summarize the deﬁnition of hate-based rhetoric as
Language that intends to — through rhetorical devices and contextual references
– attack the dignity of a group of people, either through an incitement to
violence, encouragement of the incitement to violence, or the incitement to
Deﬁnitions of the various types of hate-based rhetoric named above, and the
reasoning behind them, are given in the next section.
GAB HATE CORPUS 37
The sources which we use for our deﬁnition are also useful in determining the
categories which meaningfully delineate the types of hate-based rhetoric. In this section we
introduce and justify each of the four dimensions of hate-based rhetoric:
•Hate-based rhetoric: A document can be (1) Not-hateful, (2) Incitement to
hatred/Call to Violence; and/or (3) Assault on Human Dignity.
•Vulgarity/Oﬀensive Language: A document can use oﬀensive or abusive language
which may or may not be one of the above hate-based categories
•Targeted Group: The type of targeted group
•Implicit/Explicit: Whether the rhetoric is direct and explicit, or it is veiled and
reliant on external information to accomplish its objective.
Incitement to Hatred and Incitement to Violence. The question of how to
partition the types of hate-based rhetoric is critical. The concept of scale or severity in
hate speech has only recently been discussed systematically. Obviously, some hate speech is
worse than others, though this was an informal fact until recently. For example, Olteanu et
al. (2018) develops a typology with four dimensions of hate speech: stance, target, severity,
and framing. The three levels of severity here are: “promotes violence", “intimidates", and
“oﬀends or discriminates” (p. 5). A similar hierarchy of hate speech comes from
Facebook’s “Community Standards”, which proposes the following three “tiers”: violent
and dehumanizing speech; statements of inferiority; and calls for exclusion or segregation3.
A recent publication on online hate speech by The United Nations Educational,
Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conceptualizes hate speech as being one of
GAB HATE CORPUS 38
1. “Expressions that advocate incitement to harm (particularly, discrimination, hostility
or violence) based upon the target’s being identiﬁed with a certain social or
2. A broader category, one including “expressions that foster a climate of prejudice and
intolerance on the assumption that this may fuel targeted discrimination, hostility
and violent acts” (Gagliardone et al., 2015, p. 10).
This distinction — between what we might call “incitement to harm/violence",
including both statements which advocate such incitement and those which actually
perform it, and incitement to hatred — are echoed in the section of the German hate
speech law we cited in the above section. Buyse (2014) also distinguishes the two from a
legal perspective, discussing the potentially causal relationship between hate speech and
incitement to violence. In our view, therefore, the most natural categorization of hate
speech is along these lines: there is language which calls for (or endorses) violence,
aggression, exclusion, or segregation of a group of people (or an individual by virtue of
their group identity), and there is language which “foster[s] a climate of prejudice and
intolerance" through dehumanization or other forms of assaults on human dignity.
Vulgarity and Oﬀensive/Abusive Language. Speech which “incites to
violence” is relatively clear, in both the literature and examples from content analyses. The
other category, incitement to hatred, is less clear, especially in the context of existing work
in NLP which targets oﬀensive language, abusive language, and incivility. From the above
discussion of human dignity given by Waldron (2012), we distinguish the incitement to
hatred from these other forms of undesirable language by the perceived intent of the
speaker to dehumanize, disempower, or subjugate a group (or an individual by virtue of
This distinction applies most directly to the uses of hateful slurs, such as the n-slur or
the c-slur. By our deﬁnition, in order for the use of a hateful slur to be incitement to
hatred, there has to be intent on the part of the speaker which satisﬁes the above criteria.
GAB HATE CORPUS 39
Therefore, casual uses of these terms (e.g. an insult to a friend, where the group referenced
by the slur is not involved) are oﬀensive and worthy of ﬂagging, but not hate-based
Targets of Hate-based Rhetoric. As detailed by Warner and Hirschberg (2012)
(who conceptualize hate speech as the use of well-known stereotypes), the incitement to
hatred varies in form according to the targeted group:
We ... sub-divide such speech by stereotype, and we can distinguish one form of
hate speech from another by identifying the stereotype in the text. Each
stereotype has a language all its own, with one-word epithets, phrases,
concepts, metaphors and juxtapositions that convey hateful intent. ... Given
this, we ﬁnd that creating a language model for each stereotype is a necessary
prerequisite for building a model for all hate speech (p. 21).
Other research has been attentive to the need to label for the targeted group,
including Olteanu et al. (2018) and Mondal et al. (2017). We echo the need for including
such a category in our hate-based rhetoric typology. The only distinction we make is that
we specify the type of group named (i.e. religious, political, ethnic/racial, gender, etc.),
rather than the group itself. This was done from the simple fact of simplicity: too many
groups are named in hate speech to create a generalizable typology for all of them. Instead,
we hypothesize that the rhetorical structures of language targeting an ethnic/racial (or
other) group will be similar to each other.
Framing: Explicit or Implicit. Lastly, we have independently adopted an aspect
of Waseem et al. (2017)’s typology for the sub-tasks associated with the study of abusive
language, in that we ask annotators to label each instance as “explicit” or “implicit” hate,
which refers to the type of rhetorical device used to express the semantic entity of the
sentence or document.
GAB HATE CORPUS 40
In sections below, we instruct annotators on how to apply our deﬁnition and typology
to real data, including discussions of examples. Please note that all the below
examples have been taken from comments made on YouTube.com and
white-supremacist social media accounts and therefore contain hateful rhetoric
and abusive language.
Hate-based Rhetoric. A document can be CV (a “Call for Violence"), HD (an
“Assault on Human Dignity”), or both. If none apply, the document is to be considered
NH (“Not Hateful”) Calls for violence include any verbalization or promotion of messages
which advocate or endorse aggression towards a given person or group on account of their
status as member of a given sub-population. This aggression can take the form of violence,
genocide, exclusion, and segregation. Threats which do not name the target’s group
membership as cause for the threat are not hate speech under our deﬁnition. Such
instances include individual attacks (insults or threats) and group attacks which do not
leverage some form of hatred. The below text is such an example of the former:
paul ryan is a traitor and its too bad we do not hang traitors anymore because
he would be just one in a long line
This would be coded as NH and VO, as it contains a threat which does not target group
A useful set of instructions in coding potentially CV documents is given by Benesch
Was the speech understood by the audience as a call to violence? Inﬂammatory
speech is often expressed in elliptical, indirect language, which can be variously
interpreted. For this analysis, the only relevant meaning is the way in which the
speech was understood by the audience most likely to react, at the time when it
was made or dessiminated (p. 4).
GAB HATE CORPUS 41
An example of a document coded as CV:
imagine you were born and living in kongo, or others african stases. i doubt you
would had the rights and the lifestyle you fuckers have in usa. stop this racial
escalation right now. you dont want the white people become racist for real,
dont you? you will regret those days where you were allowed to live free. dont
push it too much. you are adviced.
The above text (the last four sentences) endorses and threatens violence against people on
account of their race and/or nationality. The above example would also be coded as HD
(see below), as it implies the inferiority of other nations and cultures.
A document should be labeled as HD if it assaults the dignity of group by: asserting
or implying the inferiority of a given group by virtue of intelligence, genetics, or other
human capacity or quality; degrading a group, by comparison to subhuman entity or the
use of hateful slurs in a manner intended to cause harm; the incitement of hatred through
the use of a harmful group stereotype, historical or political reference, or by some other
contextual means, where the intent of the speaker can be conﬁdently assessed.
In the evaluation of slurs against group identity (race, ethnicity, religion, nationality,
ideology, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), we deﬁne such instances as “hate-based" if they
are used in a manner intended to wound; this naturally excludes the casual or colloquial
use of hate slurs. As an example, the adaptation of the N-slur (replacing the “-er" with
“-a") often implies colloquial usage. Words such as “bitch” and “dick” are to be considered
hateful if they are used in a way which dehumanizes the respective, targeted populations.
An example of a HD document which uses a word viewed as inherently hateful/degrading
that is not colloquial:
We grew up in the 50s saying [N-slur], spic, wop, pole-lock, making ethiopian
skinny jokes, we joked and laughed at all races and cultures, including ours.
hate what the left has done with pc.
GAB HATE CORPUS 42
Language which dehumanizes targeted persons/groups will also be labeled as HD. In
coding dehumanizing rhetoric, we refer coders to Haslam (2006), who developed a model
for two forms of dehumanization. In mechanistic forms, humans are denied characteristics
that are “uniquely human” (p. 252). Depriving the other from such traits is considered
downward, animalistic comparison. Put another way, the target has been denied the traits
that would separate them from animals.
An explicit example of such dehumanizing speech:
you sound so stupid like what is your purpose in life?? dont quit your day job
buddy. these youtube videos from you fake black people ruin a lot of what you
black stupid traitor monkeys stand for.
In another form of dehumanization as categorized by Haslam (2006), the target may
be denied qualities related to human nature. These characteristics are traits that may not
be unique to humans, but deﬁne them. These traits will “represent the concept’s ‘core’
[but] may not the same ones that distinguish us from other species" (p. 256). When these
traits are denied from the target, this is considered upward, mechanistic dehumanization.
The result of denial is often perceiving the target as cold, robotic, and lacking deep-seated
core values and characteristics.
Documents which invoke cultural, political, or historical context in order to voice
negative sentiment/degradation toward a particular sub-population, empower hateful
ideology (hate groups), or reduce the power of marginalized groups, are to be considered
HD as well. This would include messages which indicate support for white supremacy (e.g.
advocating for segregated societies/apartheid), those which make negative assertions
and/or implications about the rights of certain groups (e.g. “Immigrants in this country
need to go back to their country”), and those that reduce the power/agency of particular
segments of the population.
An example of reducing the power of a segment of the population through perpetuation of
GAB HATE CORPUS 43
fun fact: black people stole other black people and sold them to slavery, white
people just happened to buy them i am not racist, and putting a comment out
like this is oddly hard.
An example of elevating the status/power of a hateful group/ideology
even if all the jews in europe suddenly moved to another continent, there would
still be white traitor political parties who approve of massive immigration. they
are the head - not the jew. cut oﬀ the head and the whole treasonous
government will die.
As we alluded to in the above sections, some documents will contain
derogatory/oﬀensive language or personal attacks, but may or may not be classiﬁed as
hate-based rhetoric. Strictly speaking, derogatory/oﬀensive language (VO) is only violating
human dignity (HD) if the oﬀensive language targets a group’s characteristics as a
negative/degrading comparison that asserts or implies a group to be less than others.
Similarly, attacks or insults (VO) directed at individuals are only calls for violence (CV)
when they are justiﬁed by the subject’s membership in a group or segment of the
population. Examples of vulgarity that are not hate (NH), taken from Davidson et al.
And it’s gotta be some ghetto fool :/
All these bitches want a baby, I don’t want no children.
#ThingsNotToDoOnAFirstDate give her all da dick U gotta half stroke da
pussy bc if u dump dick on dat bitch she gon become extremely anoyin
Examples that are considered an Assault on human dignity/perpetuation of human
degradation (HD) that contain vulgar, derogatory, and oﬀensive language (VO):
GAB HATE CORPUS 44
Load of fucking cunts at the bbc dumb bitches who have never dated anyone
above an iq of 85 or talked to an intelligent man i pity them then again thats
why they work at buzzfeed now now you cunts keep it classy you are all pretty.
hey [N-slur] north africa isnt black just thought you should know by the way
youre clearly a racist yourself so why youre trying to shame anyone is beyond
Group tags are used to identify which types of groups are targeted by the hateful
rhetoric. Select all that apply.
•RAE: Race or ethnicity (includes anti-asian, anti-latino, anti-black, anti-arab,
•NAT: Nationality/regionalism (includes general xenophobia and targets against
•GEN: Gender (anti-woman, anti-man, anti-trans etc.)
•REL: Religion/spiritual beliefs (anti-muslim, anti-christian, etc.)
•SXO: Sexual Orientation
•IDL: Ideology (conservative/liberal/leftist/right-wing)
•POL: Political identiﬁcation. Includes any reference to membership in a political
organization (Democratic/Republican/ etc.).
•MPH: Mental/physical health status, physical disability.
A document can be either explicit or implicit with regard to the communicated
message. Waseem et al. (2017) articulates this as:
GAB HATE CORPUS 45
This is roughly analogous to the distinction in linguistics and semiotics between
denotation, the literal meaning of a term or symbol, and connotation, its
sociocultural associations (p. 2).
Waseem et al. (2017) also explains that explicit rhetoric is “unambiguous in its potential"
to be hateful, whereas implicit rhetoric “does not immediately imply or denote” hatred (p.
2). This rhetoric is typically characterized by sarcasm, irony, metaphor, and the lack of
explicitly hateful terms.
An example of implicit rhetoric:
just because you were born in america, does not make you american. just as if a
white man is born in japan, he is not japanese.
As this text carries the implication that there are ethnic/national requirements for
being considered “American”, and is therefore an act of exclusion; however, we have to
assume this communicative intent on behalf of the speaker. This speech is xenophobic
(NAT). If the rhetoric is made explicit and there is no ambiguity/subliminal messaging,
assign EX (Explicit).
Is there anything important to note about the document? Is it in a diﬀerent
language? Does it seem in any way like it should be excluded (e.g. because it is fake,
because it has been repeated multiple times, etc.) If so, add a note describing these issues
in the ‘note’ column.
In addition, make notes about diﬃcult cases and diﬃculties you had in coding, as we
will use these contributions to reﬁne and improve later versions of this manual.
We have gathered a more comprehensive set of examples for the illustration of the
application of our deﬁnition of hate-based rhetoric.Please note that all the below
examples contain hateful rhetoric and abusive language.
GAB HATE CORPUS 46
Examples illustrating hate-based rhetoric typology and coding as agreed by authors and
The Black Panther movie is a blatant anti-white ZioJesuit cultural marxist
ﬁlm aimed at further anti-white Christian theft, replacement, and geno-
cide. Send them all back to their native Africa like good ole Abe had the
foresight to do and let them ﬁnd equality and social justice among their
own kindred and creeds.
HD CV VO
Labours New LGBT+ Adviser: All White People Are Racist ... Yeah!
We don’t want our white Christian nations invaded and destroyed by our
non-white and non-Christian enemies using nasty homosexual degenerate
HD VO RAE
REL SXO EX
So, you just hate all white people who don’t want to race mix their people
out of existence or allow enemy people of color to invade their nations in
order to rob, and destroy their advanced race, creed, wealth, and culture.
HD RAE EX
Your existence, privilege, and success as a race are built on the backs,
blood, and death of people of color. BS! Whites built their own nations
with their own blood, backs, sweat, tears, brains, and strength in the
name of Christ. Africans were used by Jew/Jesuit slavers to control all
the white slaves who were the actual majority.
HD RAE EX
#BLMwants you to think black crime stats only exist because blacks are
targeted more often.Easy. Just walk into literally any gas station and ask
which race makes them worry.Black targeting is an eﬀect, not a cause,
which destroys the entire #Leftistnarrative
HD RAE IM
#MiddleEasternanimal kills 8, injures 15 in a city that won’t learn its
lesson about #Islam.This creature should be lynched, dragged til dead,
and his head on a pike on the Brooklyn Bridge.
HD CV REL
The problem is that we’re not speaking a language the #IslamoFascist-
sunderstand.We speak of due process and rights. They only understand
force and death.If we want to send a real message, it can’t be verbal. It
must be bloodshed. It must be a public execution, followed by the promise
CV REL EX
The ZioJesuit cultural marxist anti-white Christian killers now working
within our white governments globally should be shot for espionage and
treason with their non-white invaders expelled from within our nations
immediately for the sake of our future white Christian posterity. Anything
else is cowardice, self-eradication & continued genocide.
CV RAE EX
Ok so apparently they will be sent back to shitholes.Like I care? Nope. HD, NAT, IM
GAB HATE CORPUS 47
Examples (continued from Table A1)
So a wetback can sneak into our country six times, play with a gun, kill
a woman, and mostly get away with it.You can literally get away with
murder... So long as you’re a poor immigrant. #JusticeForKate
HD VO RAE
If they were all really just illegals, refugees or various forms of so-called
legal migrants we would not now really have 40+ million non-white in-
vaders and their anchor kids now bankrupting, robbing, replacing & killing
whitey along with our cops. We would not be watching all the anti-white
non-sense on Jew/Jesuit Talmudic media. An enemy has done this.
Drunk Illegal Crashes into Ambulance; Kills3-Year-Old...Where’s the
lame-stream Jew/Jesuit news media?
HD RAE IM
Seriously, Italy? You chose a Nigerian named Chike Iwobi to be the face
of Italian nationalism? God help us.
HD NAT IM
Each of our classical works now has a forward from some Jew telling us
what to think about it. They must be expelled, by force if need be.
CV RAE EX
Africans will always be savages. No matter the period of history, education
they receive or country they live in. Facts are Facts. Let’s just stop being
stupidly ignorant and not wait the complete extinction of our brothers in
SA to understand it ! #WhiteGenocide #SaveTheBoer
i hate milo because hes a degenerate faggot [N-slur] fucker. he should be
deported and sent to a muzzie country and get thrown oﬀ a roof
HD CV VO
in fact, both muslim and non-muslim middle easterner and africans alike
are turning europe into a shithole, and fast - while displacing native eu-
ropeans all at once.
HD NAT EX
man nancy pelosi is a fucking cunt. i cant imagine how someone with so
much power can be either this delusional or fucking corrupt.
NH VO GEN
the black people seem determined to march back to the plantation HD RAE IM