TL;DR: They get up-voted... a lot
We've highlighted how in the last few weeks, media coverage of migration into Europe has become increasingly alarmist, not helped by our prime minister using language more associated with the far-right.
In a post on Medium, they detailed an experiment conducted on the comments section of the Daily Mail website to show the dangers of this dehumanising language becoming normalised.
[We] wanted to see what level of support the comments would get if we took some famous pieces of Nazi propaganda and changed the word 'Jew' with 'migrant'.
Here's what happened:
Yes, that quote has received 193 up-votes.
They got more blatant, yet the up-votes kept on coming:
And then Adolf Hitler himself was quoted:
The last time they counted, they received 480 up-votes compared to 16 down-votes for right Nazi comments.
In an email to i100.co.uk, @BestoftheMail said:
In recent weeks we were both fairly shocked by the tone of much of the migrant debate, especially the dehumanising and hateful nature of the language used to describe them. We wanted to illustrate how easy it is for hate speech to become normalised and show the importance of focusing on the people and the facts rather than resorting to prejudice.
@DMReporter told us:
What really interested us was the amount of support these comments were getting. Every website gets comments like this submitted but what struck us most was the enthusiastic manner in which they were accepted. They were just knee-jerk approvals instead of any considered thought about what sort of comment they were actually agreeing with.
The Mail is hardly unique in this respect. One of worst examples in recent memory was from Sun columnist Katie Hopkins, whose description of migrants as "cockroaches" led to accusations she was adopting the tone and language of the Third Reich. On a liberal medium such as Twitter, the comments are enough to make you despair, and even on the Independent website.
Mail Online later stopped @DMReporter from making further comments on its site for "going against the community guidelines".
The most extreme posts were blocked by Mail Online moderators, and there's nothing to suggest the views posted were condoned by the Daily Mail.