We talk a lot about the unintended consequences of spit kit businesses like 23andMe and Ancestry. It’s fair to say that the founders of these and other consumer genetics businesses may not have fully anticipated the way that their products would upend family histories, spark identity crises, and help crack open cold cases.

These companies may not have expected, either, that they would become a prominent topic of discussion on some of the most toxic, hateful corners of the internet. In a fascinating and disturbing new study, a team of computer science researchers set out to quantify exactly how consumer genetic testing and some of the top companies in the sector are being talked about on two social media platforms: the mainstream site Reddit and the more fringe site 4chan.

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