Most Twitter Hate Speech Comes From East Coast and South

Something tells me this isn't about grandma.

Something tells me this isn’t about grandma.

I found this to be very interesting (from The Huffington Post):

The most hateful tweeters in the United States tend to live in the eastern half of the country, according to a new map that pinpoints hate speech from Twitter across country.

The map, created by geography students at Humboldt State University in California, looks at more than 150,000 geocoded tweets (tweets that say where the user is located) between June 2012 and April 2013, sorting for those that contained a racist, homophobic or anti-disability word. The researchers then decided whether or not the tweet was using the word in a hateful way.

According to our analysis: A majority of hateful tweets are coming from smaller towns and more rural areas. For example, some of the biggest spots for homophobic tweets are along the border of Oklahoma and Texas, and one of the biggest hubs of racist tweets is in a seemingly empty area of western Indiana. There are a lot more racist tweets coming out of an area in the middle of North Dakota than in the larger city of Fargo, for example. Homophobic tweets have a wider spread across the nation than racist ones, which are coming from the southeastern portion of the country more than anywhere else.

The project is a follow-up to a similar study that mapped racial slurs on Twitter in reaction to President Obama’s reelection in 2012. The students used The DOLLY Project (Digital OnLine Life and You), a huge archive of geolocated tweets, to collect data in both cases. This data can be used to track all kinds of tweets. There is also a map of where the word “grits” is most often tweeted (spoiler alert: it’s the south).

The interactive map lets you zoom as far as the county level on the map to pinpoint which counties across the U.S. wrote the most hateful tweets. You can look at all hateful tweets, tweets by category, or just at specific words. The map does not include sexist terms or terms that are offensive to the mentally disabled. Some of the terms shown are sort of outdated, which is most likely why some terms are less frequent than others.

Pleased to see that very little of this craziness comes out of California, which is not to say we don’t have our crazies. Be sure to click on the map in the original article, the interactive ability to focus on certain words is interesting. Of course the East Coast is much more densely populated so it is not too surprising that the total number of hate tweets coming out of there are much much higher. Here it is.

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8 thoughts on “Most Twitter Hate Speech Comes From East Coast and South

  1. jennynilsson says:

    interesting. thanks for sharing

  2. ericjbaker says:

    Ah, the anonymity of the internet. Sure makes a person brave in expressing his views.

    • Earnest Harris says:

      Yep. In a way I’m glad it allows us to see uncloaked stupidity.

      • ericjbaker says:

        I just saw the article on HuffPo. As usual, the comments afterward are ridiculous, in the true sense of the word. Did you know hate tweets are the fault of “negroes” and “sodomites”? After all, how come so few hate tweets comes from the middle of the forest, where no “negoes” live?

        I love when people give knee-jerk responses to excuse their bigotry and, in the process, reveal a fundamental lack of logic. Not surprised that the two go hand in hand, but it’s hard to explain to simpleminded idiots why they are simpleminded idiots.

      • Earnest Harris says:

        Yeah I have been foolish enough to get drawn into debates with people who do not use logic or common sense. Few things are more frustrating. You find yourself getting swallowed up in a cloud of darkness. The beauty of being an idiot is that you can never lose an argument or debate. Facts just roll right off them. LOL

  3. Maybe hateful tweets are not so high in California, but if you check the hate map from SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center), you will find that California has the most hate groups 😐

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