Differences in the Toxic Language of Cross-Platform Communities


  • Ashwini Kumar Singh King's College London, United Kingdom Graphic Era Deemed to be University, India
  • Vahid Ghafouri IMDEA Networks Institute, Spain Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
  • Jose Such King's College London, United Kingdom VRAIN, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
  • Guillermo Suarez-Tangil King's College London, United Kingdom IMDEA Networks Institute, Spain




Cross-platform communities are social media communities that have a presence on multiple online platforms. One active community on both Reddit and Discord is dankmemes. Our study aims to examine differences in harmful language usage across different platforms in a community. We scrape 15 communities that are active on both Reddit and Discord. We then identify and compare differences in type and level of toxicity, in the topics of the harmful discourse, in the temporal evolution of toxicity and its attribution to users, and in the moderation strategies communities across platforms. Our results show that most communities exhibit differences in toxicity depending on the platform. We see that toxicity is rooted in the different subcultures as well as in the way in which the platforms operate and their administrators moderate content. However, we note that in general terms Discord is significantly more toxic than Reddit. We offer a detailed analysis of the topics and types of communities in which this happens and why, which will help moderators and policymakers shape their strategies to mitigate the harm on the Web. In particular, we propose practical and effective strategies that Discord can implement to improve its platform moderation.




How to Cite

Singh, A. K., Ghafouri, V., Such, J., & Suarez-Tangil, G. (2024). Differences in the Toxic Language of Cross-Platform Communities. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 18(1), 1463-1476. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v18i1.31402