Election-related ‘hate’ tweets big in Alabama, Mississippi
This comes as no surprise, and I’m deeply ashamed that Kansas shows up as high on the list as it does.
Alabama and Mississippi had a higher concentration of election-related tweets with certain racially derogatory terms than other states in the country, a new study says.
The website Floating Sheep, run by geography professors and other academic researchers, analyzed “hate” tweets by geography for the week of the presidential election. The research was prompted by an article on the website Jezebel that collected screenshots of tweets that contained racial slurs following President Obama’s reelection.
“It is a useful reminder that technology reflects the society in which it is based, both the good and the bad,” said Matthew Zook, the author of the analysis and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s Department of Geography.
Zook said the researchers searched Twitter for tweets containing certain racially derogatory terms — “monkey” and one other — as well as “Obama,” “reelected” or “won.” They then gave each state a score based on its number of such tweets compared with its overall Twitter activity.
The analysis looked only at geocoded tweets sent Nov. 1 through 7. It found 395 election-related tweets with the specific derogatory terms.
The color-coded map shows which states have higher scores: The darker the green, the higher the concentration of election-related “hate tweets.” States with a relatively low concentration of such tweets, scoring 1 or lower, are marked in yellow.
The states with the highest scores were generally in the Southeast. Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia had scores higher than 3; Mississippi’s score of 7.4 was second only to Alabama’s 8.1.