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Van Attack Increases Sadness and Fear of Terrorism in Toronto Social Conversation
On Monday, April 23, a van drove into pedestrians on a busy street in Toronto, Canada. Social conversation volume about Toronto surged after the attack, with sadness and fear making up over 70% of the conversation. The most common words appearing in the conversation show that people are calling the attack terrorism, while others are sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
The attacker has been linked to the incel community, online groups of men that identify as “involuntarily celibate” and often post misogynistic ideologies. He posted on Facebook and Reddit referencing the incel community in the days before the attack. After the link was made, social conversation about the incel community ballooned to over 60,000 posts.