Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Mathematics and Statistics

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Peter S Dodds

Second Advisor

Christopher M Danforth


timeseries, hate speech, social media, language


Incels, or involuntary celibates, are individuals who struggle socially, due to their inability to have a romantic or sexual relationships. In popular culture, the community is known for churning out memes, strange made-up words, and startling acts of violence. Behind the veil of humor and "relatable content" lies an anti-feminist ideology that channels Incel loneliness into intense resentment towards themselves, women, and society at large. At its most extreme, Inceldom has motivated attacks like the 2014 Isla Vista attack and the 2018 Toronto van attack, resulting in the deaths of six and ten, respectively. To investigate the overall activity of this community, we look at the timeseries of comment activity on three popular Incel forums on Reddit. We then compare the words commented from one of these forums, r/Braincels, to a random Reddit comment corpus using rank divergence. The timeseries of the words that appear more often in r/Braincels indicates that these words may be a fingerprint for Incel communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.