As depressing as it is, there's nothing surprising about Meghan Markle being the target of hate on Twitter. Hell, it's probably not surprising that anyone could be the target of hate on Twitter. I mean, it's Twitter.
Unfortunately for Markle, being harassed and trolled became a part of life as soon as she was linked to the British royal family. She's even been told she was the "most trolled person in the entire world".
And while you may be imagining thousands of people furiously tapping away at their phones, sending their negative opinions out into the world, a new report has found the trolling of Markle is much more targeted and coordinated than it appears.
Watch: Prince Harry on Meghan Markle's mental health. Post continues below video.
Bot Sentinel, a Twitter analytics service, analysed about 114,000 hateful tweets posted since January 2020 about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, including racist content, accusations Markle was faking her second pregnancy and death threats.
The analysis found that 70 per cent of the posts came from just 83 Twitter accounts. The tweets had an estimated reach of 17 million Twitter users.
This on its own is incredibly interesting information. Those numbers are staggering, showing the targeted campaign against Markle. But it's also the coordination between the accounts, which have more than 187,000 combined followers, that makes this so dangerous.
Listen: The Spill discusses the coordinated attacks on Meghan Markle. Post continues below audio.
Sentinel identified 55 "primary accounts" responsible for creating the vast majority of hateful content against Markle, and an additional 28 "secondary accounts" which exist primarily to retweet the tweets of the primary group, amplifying their reach.
It took us 150 hours to analyze and review the tweets, retweets, mentions, and friend/follower connections outlined in the report. We painstakingly examined everything because we knew other researchers and members of the media would scrutinize our work.https://t.co/u3eFVBka5Y— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) October 27, 2021