Name the city where the most anti-gay tweets come from. Buffalo topped the chart as America’s most anti-gay city, according to an unofficial Twitter study that partnered up with an apartment locator app. Millions of social media tweets were scanned and flagged for the most vitriolic, racist language – and results were categorized by city and state. It reads as a compendium of intolerance, but some (namely those cities mortified by the stats) are questioning the authenticity of the study.
For example, the Buffalo News on March 5 acknowledged that a Twitter study can be more accurate than other metrics, since all of its data is on the public domain, but also linked a 2015 study done by the web magazine City Lab, titled Why Most Twitter Maps Can’t be Trusted, and deemed it “a worthy counter-argument.”
The 2015 study raised questions that could apply to any city where social media posts are analyzed and culled. For example, what portion of residents from each city use Twitter? Or does the relative anonymity of social media skew the numbers or reinforce them?
The analytics of it all can be debated, but the study, initially reported on by the Daily Beast, is still a rather shocking aggregation of the most unpleasant parts of our society. James Joiner from DB wrote:
If we’ve learned one thing from this presidential election, it’s that we’re a nation divided by, and overrun with, hatred. No matter your skin color, gender, race, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or any other attribute, some segment of our society has a pronounced bias against you, and they’re not afraid to announce it on social media.
Joiner said that “just because we can’t point fingers at the exact trolls who perpetuate the web’s ugly undercurrent,” it is possible to “use a variety of tools to search their public posts” and analyze what was said and the origin city it was said from, in order to investigate “racial prejudice, misogyny, or some other form of base intolerance.”
With that said, Buffalo led the way in anti-gay tweets, logging 168 such tweets out of 100,000. Arlington, Texas was a close second, with 161 tweets. Of the next six cities, five of them are in California, though Fontana and Riverside (ranked third and fourth, respectively) are only a dozen miles or so apart.
The study also ranked overall derogatory language, and found that Louisianans evidently love to cuss on Twitter; the city has over 1,100 such tweets per 100,000. The southern state also came in number one on the most anti-black tweets as a state, which we suppose is not shocking. Broken down by city however, the fine white folks in Baltimore, Maryland have the ignominious “honor” of sending out the most anti-black tweets.
Californians are sending the most anti-Hispanic tweets, and the city of Bakersfield in leading the way. In fact the top five cities in America spewing anti-Hispanic tweets are all based in California.
Another category – most widely used derogatory language against women – reveals Louisiana again flies to the top. Broken down by city however, Atlanta ranks number one. When we get to anti-transgender terms, Nevada tops the list, with a distant second being New York. By city, Nevada and Orlando blow away the remaining eight.
And the most anti-overweight tweets? It’s Louisiana taking it on the (double) chin again. Evidently, if you are overweight, female, black and or bristle at foul language, stay out of Louisiana.
The one redeeming category: Least derogatory language by state. Wyoming and Montana are numbers one and two there. Writes the DB: “Maybe as a species we just don’t like being crowded too close together, but there definitely appears to be a trend of lower populations equaling less intolerance. Or maybe there just aren’t as many people tweeting in Wyoming as, say, Louisiana.”
Sound off below with your thoughts on Buffalo, Louisiana and the rest of the anti-gay, anti-obese, anti-everything twitter crowd.