Hundreds of tweets containing sexist and racist abuse aimed at Meghan Markle were posted following the announcement that she and Prince Harry were quitting royal duties.
A study for HuffPost UK carried out by digital journalism analysts at the University of Sunderland captured the offensive posts mentioning the Duchess of Sussex.
Some 400 tweets were captured in the the most severe category of abuse, containing sexist and racist insults.
Phrases included “self-loathing race traitor”, “trailer trash”, “meghan the queen, of monkey island”, “the woke Meghan bint” and “poisonous cow”. Markle was also described as a “b***h”, “c**t”, “w***e”, “sl*t” and “witch”, among other terms.
Responding to the analysis, Dr John Price, senior lecturer in journalism at Sunderland, said: “These results give a sense of the levels of abuse that have been published about Meghan Markle in the days after the announcement.
“There will be many more tweets not captured in the study, as racism and misogyny are often expressed in more subtle terms that do not use overtly abusive language.
“The vast amount of abuse captured in these findings is startling. It shows that aspects of social media, such as Twitter, have become a haven for people wishing to express hatred against women.”
Researchers set up a program using negative sentiment analysis to capture all tweets mentioning variations of the duchess’ name and an array of commonly used misogynistic and racist terms of abuse.
The sample of social media posts was collected between the time of the royal couple’s announcement on January 8 and midnight the following day.