Researchers at USC used federal funds to compile a “corpus” of “hate speech” on Gab, the First Amendment-friendly social media network that provides an alternative to increasingly censorious platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Titled “The Gab Hate Corpus: A collection of 27k posts annotated for hate speech,” the project involved over a dozen researchers and was sponsored by funds from the National Science Foundation, a federal body that distributes taxpayer money to fund scientific research, including “social sciences.”
The current NSF director is an Obama appointee, France A. Córdova. The NSF’s budget in 2020 was increased by 2.5 percent on the previous year, to $8.28 billion. Part of that taxpayer money, it seems, is now going to study “hate speech” on Gab.
“The growing prominence of online hate speech is a threat to a safe and just society,” declares the study. “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.”
The report also claims to “establish baseline classification performance for each using standard natural language processing methods.” Natural language processing is a subfield of linguistics, AI and computer science that among other things involves training AIs how to recognize and analyze human speech.
In a statement, Gab slammed the researchers for “cherrypicking” items of speech from its website.
“These researchers used federal funds to highlight 27,000 posts out of more than 93,000,000 on our site (0.029%) to promote the online censorship of American citizens,” said a Gab spokesman.
“Gab has over 3 million visitors, users, and customers from around the world. Our fastest-growing markets are the United States, India, and Spain. Our users have diverse ideological, cultural, and social perspectives. Studies like this seek to gaslight millions of great people in our community based on a negligible fraction of posts on the site.”
“For years now yellow journalists and shoddy researchers have consistently cherry-picked individual users or small groups on our site in an effort to discredit our mission, which is to protect the First Amendment online and empower everyone to speak freely and securely.”
“They have failed and will continue to fail. Gab will continue to build people-powered solutions to Big Tech bias and online censorship.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.