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Guardian research reveals its ten most abused writers by online commenters are all women or black men

By Dominic Ponsford

The Guardian has published research revealing that of the ten most abused writers in its online comments: eight are women and two are black men.

Following concerns about the nature of comments left on The Guardian, the site has analysed 70m comments left by readers.

It found that of these 1.4m have been blocked by Guardian moderators, mostly for being abusive.

The research found that articles written by women are more likely to attract abusive comments across the board. Articles about feminism were said to attract "very high levels" of blocked comments.

Guardian writer Jessica Valenti told the title: "Imagine going to work every day and walking through a gauntlet of 100 people saying 'You're stupid', 'You're terrible', 'You suck', 'I can't believe you get paid for this'. It's a terrible way to go to work."

A "significant proportion" of the blocked comments on The Guardian were said to come under the heading of "author abuse".
"Dismissive trolling" also results in comments being blocked. According to The Guardian, these can include statements such as "calm down, dear".

The piece says: "The Guardian is committed to tackling the problem." And it reports that it has already "cut down the number of places where comments are open on stories relating to a few particularly contentious subjects, such as migration and race".

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It adds: "However, unlike many news sites, the Guardian has no plans to close comments altogether. For the most part, Guardian readers enrich the journalism."

The Guardian has invited people to comment on the research here.

Guardian website readers can comment anonymously but must provide a valid email address in order to do so.

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