Data-mapping experts from the Floating Sheep blog mapped geo-located Tweets that contained hate speech and were made after President Barack Obama was re-elected late Tuesday night. The analysis collected tweets that contained the text “monkey” or “nigger” AND also contain the text “Obama” OR “reelected” OR “won”.
So what state had the most racist tweets? Mississippi and Alabama came in first place. Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee trailing them behind.
Rhode Island had no hate tweets that Floating Sheep could identify.
Using DOLLY we collected all the geocoded tweets from the last week (beginning November 1) with racist terms that also reference the election in order to understand how these everyday acts of explicit racism are spatially distributed. Given the nature of these search terms, we’ve buried the details at the bottom of this post in a footnote .
Given our interest in the geography of information we wanted to see how this type of hate speech overlaid on physical space. To do this we aggregated the 395 hate tweets to the state level and then normalized them by comparing them to the total number of geocoded tweets coming out of that state in the same time period . We used a location quotient inspired measure (LQ) that indicates each state’s share of election hate speech tweet relative to its total number of tweets. A score of 1.0 indicates that a state has relatively the same number of hate speech tweets as its total number of tweets. Scores above 1.0 indicate that hate speech is more prevalent than all tweets, suggesting that the state’s “twitterspace” contains more racists post-election tweets than the norm.
The prevalence of post-election racist tweets is not strictly a southern phenomenon as North Dakota (3.5), Utah (3.5) and Missouri (3) have very high LQs. Other states such as West Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota don’t score as high but have a relatively higher number of hate tweets than their overall twitter usage would suggest.
The Northeast and West coast (with the exception of Oregon) have a relatively lower number of hate tweets.
States shaded in grey had no geocoded hate tweets within our database. Many of these states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota) have relatively low levels of Twitter use as well. Rhode Island has much higher numbers of geocoded tweets but had no hate tweets that we could identify.
Visit Floatingsheep.org for more information and take a look at their interactive map.