The report also says that platforms such as YouTube and Google, as well as internet infrastructure companies like Cloudflare are facilitating the growth of the forum, which the report says is visited by 2.6 million people each month. “These companies should make a policy decision to withdraw their services from sites causing such significant harm,” the report said.
“This is a new violent extremist movement born in the internet age, which challenges the usual characteristics of violent extremist movements that law enforcement and the intelligence community are usually used to,” Imran said. Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, an American organization. non-profit. “Our study shows that they are organized, have a compelling ideology, and have clearly concluded that raping women, killing women and raping children are clearly part of practicing their ideology.”
Incels blame women for their failures in life. The term originated decades ago, and while the first incel forum was founded by a woman in the mid-1990s, incel communities have since become almost exclusively male. Incel ideology has been linked to dozens of murders and assaults over the past decade, the most significant involving Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old self-proclaimed incel who murdered six people in a stabbing and stabbing attack. the shooting in Santa Barbara, California. , in 2014. Before committing suicide, he posted a lengthy manifesto and YouTube videos promoting incel ideology.
In March, the US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center released a report warning that violence against women was a growing terrorist threat.
According to CCHR analysis, forum members post about rape every 29 minutes, and more than 89% of posters support rape and say it’s okay. CCHR’s analysis also found that the posters on the forum seek to normalize child rape. More than a quarter of forum members have posted pedophilia keywords, analysis found, and more than half of forum members support pedophilia.
The forum also changed its rules this year to accommodate what appears to be a trend towards normalizing the rape of young victims, according to the report. The forum previously implored users not to “sexualize minors in any way”, but in March changed that language to “not sexualize prepubescent minors in any way”.
The report also cited content reflecting the trend of paedophilia, noting that a majority of commenters expressed support for an article that read, “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against paedophilia”. Another thread started by a regular user who had posted over 7,000 times on the forum contained an image of a 12 year old with the comment “who in his right mind would prefer a 22 year old [woman] for that?”
“Analysis of their discourse shows that this core group represents a clear and present danger to women, other young men, and reveals an emerging threat to our children,” the report said.
The CCHR said its analysis also revealed growing interest in mass murder at the site. Posts mentioning incel mass murder rose 59% between 2021 and 2022, the study found, and praise was common for Elliot Rodger. The word “kill” was mentioned 1,181 times on the forum in just one month, or once every 37 minutes. “Shoot” and “kill” are also popular words on the forum.
“Having conducted this study, we are in no doubt that this community of angry, belligerent and shameless men are dangerous to each other, with malignant social dynamics by which they encourage each other to increasingly worse extremes. worse,” the report said. “Unchecked, incel communities have the potential to become more radicalized.”
The CCHR said it was making its comprehensive forum database available to law enforcement and informed counterterrorism officials in the United States and United Kingdom of the report’s findings.
The forum was founded in 2017 by Diego Joaquín Galante, known online as “Sergeant Incel” and Lamarcus Small in response to Reddit banning the /r/incels subreddit. It offers an invite-only Discord server for its members who have posted over 400 times on the site, and an active channel on the Telegram chat app. Forum moderators also maintain a Twitter account that promotes incel ideology and attacks perceived critics.
Only self-identified heterosexual men are allowed to post on the forum; women and members of the LGBTQ community are prohibited from weighing themselves.
The report says the forum has gained a mass following largely through social media, especially YouTube, where according to the report, videos promoting incel ideology have had a total of 24.2 million views. time. “YouTube is a key part of incel education,” Ahmed said.
Forum members, according to the report, often share content from misogynistic YouTube channels and channels like Incel TV, which promotes incel ideology. Another popular YouTube channel mentioned on the forum, according to the report, is SlutHate Creeps, where users post secretly recorded images of women.
But YouTube isn’t the only breakthrough, according to the analysis. Galante and Small have created a network of seemingly more mainstream websites that direct people to the incel forum. Google searches for body image or unemployment frequently return links to these “incelosphere” sites, the CCHR found.
Teenagers are among the most active and extreme users of the forum, according to the CCHR. In one case, a boy who said he was 17 was recorded as being on the forum for an average of 10 hours a day during the reporting period, posting an average of 40 times a day, according to the report. Another, who claimed to be 15, spent an average of five hours a day on the site, repeatedly posting his desire to carry out a mass shooting.
The forum enables their participation, according to the analysis, by encouraging users to hide the site from prying parents or teachers using a feature that disguises it as a banana marketing website.
The report criticizes Cloudflare, an internet services company that provides services to the forum and other Galante and Small sites. Cloudflare recently abandoned Kiwi Farms, a forum where users coordinated harassment campaigns against women and members of the LGBTQ community, after launching a protest targeting its top customers. “Cloudflare benefits from its role as an infrastructure provider for all four incelosphere forums and has been praised by the official incel forum Twitter account,” the report said.
The CCDH also urged government regulators to find ways to combat incel ideology and restrict the site. “This should not be left to the goodwill of Big Tech, who profit from the creation and distribution of this content and are not properly incentivized or required to be proactively transparent about key metrics or invest in desired safety outcomes,” the report said.
“This forum is a violent ideological manifesto, but for the 21st century,” Ahmed said. “Instead of being a book, it’s essentially a wiki that is constantly being developed by the readers themselves. Left alone, this community has become even more radicalized and its ideology is becoming more dangerous day by day.
This story will be updated with comments as it becomes available.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Center for Countering Digital Hate is British. He is based in the United States. The article has been corrected.