A Hate Map Of The US


Researchers at Floating Sheep analyzed more than 150,000 geotagged tweets that included a homophobic, racist, or ableist slur and mapped the data:

Perhaps the most interesting concentration comes for references to ‘wetback’, a slur meant to degrade Latino immigrants to the US by tying them to ‘illegal’ immigration. Ultimately, this term is used most in different areas of Texas, showing the state’s centrality to debates about immigration in the US. But the areas with significant concentrations aren’t necessarily that close to the border, and neither do other border states who feature prominently in debates about immigration contain significant concentrations.

… Ultimately, some of the slurs included in our analysis might not have particularly revealing spatial distributions. But, unfortunately, they show the significant persistence of hatred in the United States and the ways that the open platforms of social media have been adopted and appropriated to allow for these ideas to be propagated.

Brian Anderson adds:

How can we be sure “positive” uses of an otherwise hateful slur (e.g., “dykes on bikes #SFPride”) weren’t inadvertently swept up in the Geography of Hate? Contextualiztion is crucial–is everything, really. Did Stephens’ team allow for it? They did. In fact, this is why they used humans (read: Humboldt State students), not machines, to analyze the entirety of the 150,000 offending tweets, all drawn from the University of Kentucky’s DOLLY project.

An interactive version of the map is here.