EyeOpenerTV.com brought Humboldt State University’s Twitter Hate Speech Map to light on or about Sept. 26, 2013. The original map and the study were published by HSU May 10, 2013 as “Geography of Hate: Mapping the Origins of Online Hate Speech”. The Twitter hate speech map “was created by Professor Monica Stephens and her students”. More of Professor Stephens’s very interesting social mapping work is presented on FloatingSheep.org and is worth a look! Her online bio describes her as an “Internet Geographer”.
In the Twitter hate speech geographic study the group measured hate speech from locations with “150,000 tweets” of hatred. The hate speech studied was limited to racial, homophobic and anti-disability tweets. The study measured a timeline from June 2012 to April 2013. The group read tweet by tweet to find and confirm those that were considered “derogatory”. County by county data was aggregated and normalized. It may be of interest to know if census measurement models were used in that portion of the study.
Those areas with a minimum diversity of people were correlated with higher rates of hate speech. “Isolated areas” showed a high concentration of the hate speech. Discriminatory intolerant speech is more prevalent in “areas east of Mississippi”. The group correlated that with higher population concentrations and more tweeting. The map’s inspiration was fomented by cyber-bullying and hate speech censorship. People must feel entitled to speak their minds – even when it’s unfortunate, racist and harmful to others. The Twitter hate speech map plus the study seems to prove that unfortunate fact of American life. But variables are noted by the Eye Opener TV’s presenter – even though Iowa has a “large presence” its hate tweet rate is relatively low.
Dr. Stephens’s work uses geocoding and user-generated materials and seems to supply large elements in the creation of their Twitter hate speech map. In 2012, Floating Sheep created a Google Fusion Map of Racist Tweets in Response to President Obama’s Re-Election. The Wikipedia has a page on Hate Crime Laws in the US – and may be worth a look if you or someone you know has been victimized. Have any ideas about creating a similar map? You may wish to log on to Google’s Fusion Tables. One may wonder how to create a Twitter love speech map as opposed to the infamous Twitter hate speech map.