Conspirador Norteño Profile picture
Data Scientist/Musician/Participant in the General Confusion @trutherbotprop Resist autocracy and research/counter disinformation. I serve the realm.

Aug 11, 2018, 10 tweets

Over the last several days, a new hashtag has appeared and propagated on Twitter: #VerifiedHate. The concept seems to be to attack verified (blue-check) accounts that are theoretically promoting hate against white people.

We downloaded recent tweets containing the #VerifiedHate hashtag. We found 18092 tweets from 9747 accounts - the first tweet is in the wee hours of the morning on August 5th, and the hashtag takes off on the evening of August 7th.

This hashtag campaign appears to have been planned on other platforms in two stages. First, we have this post on Gab from 8/5, which is within minutes of the first tweet from @Keque_Magus. It's followed by plenty of additional Gab discussion promoting #VerifiedHate.

Next, we have this post on 4chan. Not long after, this tweet from @meme_america appeared. This tweet has of the time of this writing been retweeted over 1800 times, and it's not the only #VerifiedHate tweet from @meme_america to get a sizable amount of attention.

Here's the retweet network for #VerifiedHate. In addition to the accounts already mentioned, @getongab (the official Gab twitter account) also figures prominently.

Let's take a closer look at @meme_america. The account is less than two months old, and has an unusual tweet schedule - looking closely, the gaps for sleep shift forward an hour or so each day.

There are 772 accounts with original #VerifiedHate tweets (most accounts that tweeted the hashtag only did so via retweets.) Checking these accounts yields eight more with a similar pattern in their schedule.

Let's take another look at the #VerifiedHate volume. 2876 of 18092 tweets (15.9%) are tweets from one of these nine accounts or retweets thereof. This group of accounts had a disproportionate impact on the traffic. It's also notable that they all showed up after the 4chan post.

We don't currently have a good explanation for what causes this pattern, although we have seen it before. It seems to correlate with accounts that push messaging about white people being persecuted. If anyone has a hypothesis, we're interested.

Much appreciation to @ZellaQuixote for aid with reconstructing the origin story of this hashtag.

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