Geography students at California’s Humboldt State University have created a heat map that pinpoints where the most “hateful” people on Twitter live.
The students compiled more than 150,000 geotagged tweets from June 2012 to April of this year that contained one of many words that were deemed racist, homophobic or anti-disability. They read through every tweet to determine whether it was positive, negative or neutral and added the negative tweets to the “Geography of Hate” map.
The map points out that the Twitter haters are mostly found in smaller towns and the more rural areas of the country, with the eastern half of the country — particularly the Midwest and Southern states — having a higher concentration of hateful tweets. You can see where the hate is located by pinpointing the red blotches on the map, with more diminished Twitter hate in what the map’s creators call the “blue smog of hate.” Researchers determined the intensity of the hateful tweets based on the local number of tweets, so the more hateful tweets per area, the redder the area is.
“Geography of Hate” is similar to other efforts that tried to measure how many times individuals on Twitter used hate speech in their tweets. Last year, researchers at the University of Alberta created NoHomophobes.com, which counted in real time the number of references on Twitter that used slurs such as “no homo,” “faggot” and “dyke.”
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