14,000 Tweets per Day Found to Contain Racial Slurs

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Many Twitter users are not shy about using racial slurs in their messages, adding up to about 14,000 Tweets a day.


This total was compiled by Demos, a British research organization, after examining nine days of postings on Twitter.


“White boy” was the most common slur used.


Other popular ones included “paki,” “pikey,” “nigga,” “spic,” “crow,” “squinty” and “wigga.”


The researchers concluded in their report (pdf) that most of the slurs were not aimed at any particular person, and that about half of the time, the language was intended “in a non-offensive, non-abusive manner, to express in-group solidarity or non-derogatory description.”


They added that “the racially-prejudiced tweets appear not to be uniform in nature; we suggest that a proportion of such tweets might be described as showing a ‘casual use’ of slurs.”


They also pointed out that while an “underlying racism” exists in using these words, a “racist viewpoint is often not the point of the message.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Demos Study Shows 14,000 Tweets a Day Contain Racial Slurs (by George Chidi, Raw Story)

Anti-Social Media (by Jamie Bartlett, Jeremy Reffin, Noelle Rumball and Sarah Williamson; Demos) (pdf)

Racist Tweets: An End to Impunity for the Perpetrators? (by Susie Bourquin, AllGov)

Courtney Love Trial Would Test Legality of Twitter Insults (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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