Online Hate Ecosystem Primer

In order to combat hate online, it’s important to understand the ecosystem in which it thrives. To that end, experts at ADL have developed diagrams that map out the web of connections between and among bad actors, targets, institutions, behaviors, causes and outcomes. The connections often overlap and influence one another. The ecosystem is complex and involves interactions among various actors across multiple ideologies, biases and functions, with the ensuing hate expressing itself in ways that range from subtle harassment to explicit calls for violence.

By visualizing the online hate ecosystem, we can create a shared vocabulary around how online hate arises—the reasons why people engage in hate, the targets of that abuse, the forms the abuse takes, the tools and platforms used to commit or mitigate abuse, and the damaging consequences of hate.