The report also says that platforms including YouTube and Google, as well as internet infrastructure companies like Cloudflare, are facilitating the growth of the forum, which the report said is visited by 2.6 million people each month. “These companies should make a tentative decision to withdraw their services from sites that cause such significant harm,” the report says.
said Imran Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, an American nonprofit. “Our study shows that they are organized and have a compelling ideology and have clearly concluded that rape of women, femicide, and rape of children are clearly part of the practice of their ideology.”
Incels blame women for their failures in life. The term originated decades ago, and while the first incel forums were founded by a woman in the mid-1990s, incel communities have since been almost exclusively male. Incel ideological has been linked It has resulted in dozens of murders and assaults over the past decade, most notably involving 22-year-old self-described Elliot Rodger. who killed six people In a stabbing and shooting attack in Santa Barbara, California, in 2014. Before he committed suicide, he posted a long manifesto and YouTube videos promoting the ideology involved.
In March, the US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center Report released Warning that violence against women is a growing terrorist threat.
According to the Advisory Council on Human Rights analysis, forum members post about rape every 29 minutes, and more than 89 percent of posters support rape and say it’s acceptable. The CCDH analysis also found that posters in the forum seek to normalize child rape. More than a quarter of forum members posted keywords related to pedophilia, the 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 toward normalizing rape of younger victims, according to the report. The forum previously appealed to users not to “sexualize minors in any way, shape, or form,” but in March changed that language to “not to sexualize minors of puberty in any way, shape, or form.”
The report also cited content reflecting the trend toward child sexual abuse, noting that the majority of commenters expressed support for a post that read, “For example, there is literally no reason to oppose child sexual abuse.” Another thread started by a regular user who posted over 7,000 times on the forum contained a picture of a 12-year-old with the comment “who would rather be 22 years old.” [woman] to this?”
“An analysis of their discourse shows that this core group poses a clear and present danger to other women and youth, and reveals an emerging threat to our children,” the report says.
The Advisory Council on Human Rights said its analysis also found increased interest in mass killings on the site. Publications citing mass murders increased 59 percent between 2021 and 2022, the study said, with Elliot Rodger being popular praise. The word “murder” was mentioned 1,181 times on the forum in just one month, which equates to about once every 37 minutes. “Shoot” and “Kill” are also common words on the forum.
“We have no doubt after conducting this study that this community of angry, belligerent and unapologetic men are dangerous to one another, with pernicious social dynamics where they encourage each other to the worst and worst of extremism,” the report said. “Unsupervised societies have the potential to increase extremism.”
The Advisory Council on Human Rights said it makes its full database available to law enforcement and has shared the report’s findings with US and UK counter-terrorism officials.
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. Discord’s invite-only server offers its members who have posted more than 400 times on the site, and an active channel on the Telegram chat app. Forum moderators also maintain a Twitter account that promotes the ideology involved and attacks perceived critics.
Only heterosexual men are allowed to post on the forum; Women and members of the LGBTQ community are restricted from weighing themselves.
The report says the forum has gained a large audience through social media in particular, with YouTube in particular, where the report said videos promoting positive thought were viewed a total of 24.2 million times. “YouTube is an essential part of education,” Ahmed said.
The report said forum members often shared content from anti-women YouTube channels and channels such as Incel TV, which promoted the ideology. The report stated that another popular YouTube channel mentioned in the forum is SlutHate Creeps, where users post secretly recorded photos of women.
But the analysis found that YouTube is not the only way. Galante and Small have created a network of seemingly more popular websites that direct people to the incel forum. The Advisory Council on Human Rights found that Google searches for body image or unemployment frequently return links to these “incelosphere” sites.
Teenage boys are among the most active and extreme users of the forum, according to the CCDH. In one case, a boy who said he was 17 was logged into the forum for an average of 10 hours per 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, posting repeatedly about his desire to commit a mass shooting.
The analysis said the forum empowers them to participate by encouraging users to hide the site from intrusive parents or teachers by using its disguise feature as a banana marketing site.
The report criticizes Cloudflare, the internet services company that provides services to the forum, Galante and other small sites. Cloud Flare Recently dropped kiwi plantations, a forum where users coordinated harassment campaigns against women and members of the LGBTQ community, after launching a protest targeting its key clients. “Cloudflare leverages its role as the infrastructure provider for all four incelosphere forums and has been praised by the forum’s official Twitter account,” the report says.
The Advisory Council on Human Rights also urged government regulators to find ways to combat the underlying ideology and site restriction. “This should not be left to the goodwill of Big Tech, which benefits from the creation and dissemination of such content and is not properly incentivized or required to be proactively transparent about key metrics or investing in desirable safety outcomes,” the report says.
“This forum is a violent ideological statement, but for the 21st century,” Ahmed said. “Rather than a book, it is basically a wiki that is constantly evolving by the readers themselves. If this society is left alone, it becomes more radical and its ideology becomes more and more dangerous by the day.”
This story will be updated with a comment as it becomes available.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Anti-Digital Hate Center is British. It is based in the United States. The article has been corrected.