Jo Cox's murder inspired tweets celebrating killer Thomas Mair as a 'patriot'

On Wednesday, Mair was handed a whole-life sentence at the Old Bailey for the murder of the 41-year-old MP

Matt Payton
Saturday 26 November 2016 19:39
Tweets were found labelling Ms Cox's killer a "hero" and a "patriot"
Tweets were found labelling Ms Cox's killer a "hero" and a "patriot"

* The article below concerned a study by Hope not Hate, which was originally mis-characterised as having found that 50,000 tweets celebrating the death of Jo Cox had been posted in the aftermath of her murder. This claim was not, in fact, made by the study - nor did it suggest that 25,000 different accounts had posted such tweets. Hope not Hate has addressed these points here. Its original study can be seen here.

Concerns were raised about the Hope not Hate study - and the media coverage which followed - by Evolution AI, which had conducted its own analysis of tweets posted after Ms Cox's death. Its conclusions can be seen here.

We have taken the decision not simply to remove this article from our site but to add these caveats and explanatory links. 21/12/16

In the aftermath of the murder of MP Jo Cox, more than 50,000 tweets celebrated her death congratulating her killer, Neo Nazi Thomas Mair.

Tweets describing Mair as a "hero" and a "patriot" were sent in the aftermath of her murder from 25,000 accounts, according to a report on cyber hate speech.

On Wednesday, Mair was handed a whole-life sentence at the Old Bailey on Wednesday for the murder of the 41-year-old mother-of-two.

Dr Imran Awan of Birmingham City University, and Dr Irene Zempi of Nottingham Trent University studied 53,000 tweets following Ms Cox's murder in the run-up to the EU Referendum with the top 20 words including "hero", "patriot", "white power", "rapists" and "traitor" - reports the The Guardian.

The report, which will be published on November 28, explained online statements of hate and hate offences on the the street are linked to online perpetrators inspired by "trigger" events such as the EU referendum.

Dr Awan and Dr Zempi have called on social media companies to fulfill a duty of care and conduct in addition to founding an archive filled with online hate incidents.

Nick Lowles, chief executive of anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate said in support of the report: "Mair acted alone but he was inspired by over 30 years of reading Nazi propaganda.

"Clearly there were those on social media and other digital platforms who sought to exploit and profit from his disgusting actions, and the tensions also arising from the referendum process, to spread their vile beliefs.

Jo Cox's husband hopes to continue her legacy after Mair guilty verdict

He added: "It is time for the authorities to take greater note of these ideologues of hate, and time too for social media companies - and Twitter in particular - to up their game when it comes to providing a safe platform for expression.

"Free speech does not equal hate speech, which can have very real consequences and impact in communities in the UK."

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