Basketball season kicked off last month and with it comes the return of the most enduring of fan traditions: trash talk.

The researchers, led by CU Boulder's Chenhao Tan and Jason Shuo Zhang, studied several years' worth of data from r/nba, Reddit's go-to platform for discussions of all things basketball.

They discovered that tossing fans of opposing basketball teams together online may not be a good way to help them get along.

In fact, the more those fans interacted, the group found, the more negative their comments became.

They are more likely to use negative words and they are more likely to use what we call hate speech," said Tan, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science.

The results may not be surprising to fans of famous NBA trash talkers like Kevin Garnett or Charles Barkley.

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