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Geomapping Racism With Twitter

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the following-the-trail dept.

Social Networks 409

Hugh Pickens writes "Megan Garber writes that in the age of the quantified self, biases are just one more thing that can be measured, analyzed, and publicized. The day after Barack Obama won a second term as president of the United States, a group of geography academics took advantage of the fact that many tweets are geocoded to search Twitter for racism-revealing terms that appeared in the context of tweets that mentioned 'Obama,' 're-elected,' or 'won,' sorting the tweets according to the state they were sent from and comparing the racist tweets to the total number of geocoded tweets coming from that state during the same time period. Their findings? Alabama and Mississippi have the highest measures followed closely by Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee forming a fairly distinctive cluster in the southeast. Beyond that cluster North Dakota and Utah both had relatively high scores (3.5 each), as did Missouri, Oregon, and Minnesota. 'These findings support the idea that there are some fairly strong clustering of hate tweets centered in southeastern U.S. which has a much higher rate than the national average,' writes Matthew Zook. 'But lest anyone elsewhere become too complacent, the unfortunate fact is that most states are not immune from this kind of activity. Racist behavior, particularly directed at African Americans in the U.S., is all too easy to find both offline and in information space.'"

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Actually Measured (4, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949137)

How did they account for multiple racists tweets from one "tweeter"?

One racist sending 100 racist tweets is not the same as 100 different racists each sending one racist tweet each.

Re:Actually Measured (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949197)

racists dont know how to sign up for 100 accounts.

Re:Actually Measured (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41949335)

No, he means one account sending out 300 racist tweets vs 300 accounts, from different people, sending out one racist tweet.

Re:Actually Measured (5, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#41949577)

that person is probably 300 times more racist than someone with just one account

Re:Actually Measured (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949583)

racists dont know how to sign up for 100 accounts.

Not just a woofing. This condition is untweetable.

Re:Actually Measured (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949637)

Obviously you have never seen moveon.org'ers in action then.

Re:Actually Measured (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949257)

Sure it's not, he's 100 times as racist as the other ones.

Re:Actually Measured (5, Informative)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 2 years ago | (#41949273)

How did they account for multiple racists tweets from one "tweeter"?

One racist sending 100 racist tweets is not the same as 100 different racists each sending one racist tweet each.

Reading the article it doesn't look like they bothered. And they only found a total of 395 tweets which will lead to appalling precision in any of their findings. Sadly 'information scientists' don't always appear to be the best statisticians.

Re:Actually Measured (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41949341)

With only a couple of days work this isn't bad. But it's not science, it's interest and a proof of concept for doing actual research.

Re:Actually Measured (4, Insightful)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 2 years ago | (#41949431)

With only a couple of days work this isn't bad. But it's not science, it's interest and a proof of concept for doing actual research.

I accept they didn't work very hard on this but in that case its irresponsible to be promoting the findings among people who clearly won't bother to understand the (immense) limitations of the method. It's slightly irritating that as far as the general public is concerned this kind of back of the envelope calculation is indistinguishable from proper science. I wouldn't publicise any findings until I'd had them peer-reviewed and published. But then maybe I'm old-fashioned (and maybe this is why I don't have an academic blog)

One Tweet for Utah, One Tweet for North Dakota (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41949463)

With only a couple of days work this isn't bad. But it's not science, it's interest and a proof of concept for doing actual research.

I think it's absolutely horrible and the fact that these states names but not their numbers have found their way into headlines and a Slashdot summary makes me sick. They might have been right to indict the Southern states that we already know have issues along these lines but their map of tweets [geocommons.com] lists precisely one tweet for Utah and one tweet for North Dakota. The really appalling thing about the North Dakota tweet is that it is geolocated to Minot, a town that has seen an explosive growth in transient workers from states like Oklahoma and Texas in order to meet the demand for workers with oil specialties in the oil fields near there. It's probably a fifty/fifty shot the tweet was from an actual permanent resident of North Dakota.

Basically if a low population states hits the top of your study and the data is that sparse (one tweet!) then I think you should omit that as an outlier and stricken those names from your press release. It's great to recognize these things in your data and to talk about them in your analysis. It's unjust to propagate just their names throughout the news making people think that North Dakota is not only cold and sparsely populated but it's also racist.

Someone in Salt Lake City could have been joking in one tweet and suddenly Utah is one of the most racist states in a Slashdot summary. A transient worker who feels like lost his job in OK and had to use his CDL in Minot, ND because a black man was president could fire off an ignorant tweet and suddenly North Dakota is full of racists.

Re:Actually Measured (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949391)

Scientist would be so generous as to be inaccurate. It's a naively amateur stab at trying to do something edgy and thought provoking. It's like someone thought that if you scrape data off the web and put it on a zoomable map, it's somehow made more relevant and powerfOoh! Zoom in! There's a dot in my town!

Does anyone else sometimes get the feeling that Dice Holdings has mandated ./ run accessibly humanitarian stories each week as part of an attempt to paint us as not being unapproachably terse neckbeards? I feel like they're wearing away the only part of my identity that keeps people from asking me to "fix their computer".

Re:Actually Measured (1, Flamebait)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41949497)

And they only found a total of 395 tweets which will lead to appalling precision in any of their findings. Sadly 'information scientists' don't always appear to be the best statisticians.

Doesn't matter, with an effect size this large you don't need that much precision. As bad as 'information scientists' may be at statistics, 'random guy on slashdot' is always worse.

Re:Actually Measured (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41949593)

BTW, I just checked out a sample size calculator [surveysystem.com] . For a 95 percent confidence level with a +- 5% confidence interval, and a population of 400 million, guess what your sample size needs to be.

384.

Now this calculation for a survey is a little different from what the researchers are doing here, but it illustrates my point. You can do a lot with small sample sizes if the differences between groups are large.

Re:Actually Measured (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949717)

You can do a lot. You can make up any number you want to.

Re:Actually Measured (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41949367)

How did they account for multiple racists tweets from one "tweeter"?

One racist sending 100 racist tweets is not the same as 100 different racists each sending one racist tweet each.

Not a woofing.

Re:Actually Measured (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949437)

The story also does not count African-American ("black") prejudice/racism toward Latino/Hispanic ("brown"). In reading many articles and comments, most people are unaware of this "black-on-brown" racism but, for those who live and work in minority areas, it is noticeable.

The Washington Times published a story (three weeks in the weekend issue, IIRC) about "black-on-brown" racism in some major metropolitan settings. One was Memphis (where I lived for 16 years as an adult). The article was full of African-Americans making interesting/telling complains about Latinos/Hispanics. Statements such as "they don't look like us"; "they don't talk like us"; "we can't understand what they say"; they don't eat the same food as we eat"; even, "they don't smell like us". Quite interesting and enlightening articles. Either African-Americans are just as racism as "white" people or the noticing of differences is a normal function of being a human and part of a group.

African-American are just as prejudiced against people who are not like them or are not a part of their group as any other group.

Personally, I am at a quandary. Since my ethnicity includes European (northern and southern), African (north and central), Asian (near, middle, and far), and the new "Latino" and older Hispanic, who should I disdain? Which part of me is less than the other individual parts? Quite a problem in our race-oriented political culture. Thankfully, the Knoxville News Sentential ran article on "white" Southerners quoting experts who said all had 5% African blood. This means all Southerners are African-American and can legally claim to be "black" and joint the NAACP, the New Black Panthers, the Democrat Party; they can also change their EEO status and qualify for Food Stamps, Scholarships, etc., etc. much, (Oops, which part of me am I ragging on now?) LOL!!!

Re:Actually Measured (4, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#41949493)

STOP POINTING OUT FACTS! We just want to hear reinforcement of our stereotype that all white people are evil racists and all minorities are racially superior since they are completely incapable of being bigots towards anyone!

Now excuse me while I go to the Black Panther meeting where we discuss how we will be "poll volunteers" again in 2016 to make sure that [insert name of Democrate here] wins because any other vote is automatically racist.

Re:Actually Measured (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41949631)

all minorities are racially superior since they are completely incapable of being bigots towards anyone!

Racism isn't just about mere feelings. It's about a group wielding power against others in ways that cause real harm.

Re:Actually Measured (0)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about 2 years ago | (#41949487)

They didn't. RTFM before asking stupid question and modded insightful even. Mod points aredefinitely given out too freely.

Re:Actually Measured (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41949685)

They didn't. It's stated in the article. So prolific racists tweeters may have influenced the results some. I don't know if they also accounted for the common deliberate misspelling of the President's name (0bama), or referring to him as "Hussein" or other such references. I don't want to speculate on how racists on twitter usually refer to the President, but among haters on other forums, I've seen those two references at least as commonly as I've seen the man's name spelled correctly.

How about black-to-white racism? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949141)

are they recording that or giving it a pass because life was unkind to the african americans 150 years ago?
Chris Rock will tell you himself. Some white people are racist but almost ALL black people are racist.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (-1, Troll)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949177)

There's an expert for you: Chris Rock.

Nice job of distraction. There's a job waiting for you in political disinformation.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (0, Offtopic)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 2 years ago | (#41949327)

While your statement in itself may hold true it's completely irrelevant to the topic.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41949469)

Why is it irrelevant? They claim they're measuring the geolocation of racism, but only pick one very specific type.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949695)

White racism doesn't count. Because we can take it. We are the hero Gotham needs.

blah blah blah.....fuck all these niggers and their brown nosing faggot handlers.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (1)

mory (1862992) | about 2 years ago | (#41949359)

I think to gather this dataset for what you are talking about would require a highly polarizing event with the opposite result. But lets be honest here, there isn't much of a dataset for the main article.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (1, Informative)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 2 years ago | (#41949597)

It wasn't life that was unkind, it was their fellow white Americans.

Also, my mother passed through New York City on the way to Europe and remembers seeing signs saying 'No blacks' and such on restaurants. She is younger than 150.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#41949653)

Seriously. My feed was full of black people calling Romney "cracker-ass cracker", and I had to de-friend people posting racist jokes about him and his dancing horse.

Re:How about black-to-white racism? (0)

Eristone (146133) | about 2 years ago | (#41949707)

Gee - I didn't realize 1964 was 150 years ago, Mr/Ms AC.

Anyone Have Original Numbers and/or Tweets? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41949151)

I love data porn and tried to play around with this interactive map [geocommons.com] . I lived in Minnesota for 23 years and do not recall it to be very racist -- even in the rural areas. So according to that map there are five red dots in Minnesota which are strangely all centered around the twin cities area (the most populated and liberal part of the state). And that data puts Minnesota mentionably close to the top of the list? But if I look at Virginia, I can't even count the number of red dots there's so many and it's not even halfway up the list? What the hell?

Do each of these red dots indicate a single tweet? What are the numbers and tweets that they're looking at here, I feel like the LQ value is not doing the best job of reflecting "racism."

Re:Anyone Have Original Numbers and/or Tweets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949305)

Doesn't it indicate that Minnesota non-racist don't tweet as much on the topic as do the non-racists in Virginia?

niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949157)

Is this nigger post racist? What kind of racism does a post contain when it has words like coons, jungle bunnies, darkies, duskies, gollywogs, nignogs, and tar babies? What of kooks, spics and wetbacks? What about ZOG and JOOM? What is 88 + 14?

Let's filtter words and decide that posts are racist based on those words. Let's ignore context. Automated processing never results in error. Especially processing conducted by faggots.

Re:niggers (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949199)

Lucky for you, free speech covers your spew. Posting AC doesn't allow us to revile you as thoroughly as we should, but we'll remember your hate.

Re:niggers (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949229)

Except that there was no hate in my post. I was just typing random words.

It was you who interpreted hatred. Who wanted to see hatred when none was there.

I'm from a mixed race family (that's "mulatto") and I'm mocking those who insist words can only convey one possible sentiment, as well as those who use simplistic algorithms to gauge that sentiment.

You know what's more effective than, "Waa don't call me a nigger!"

"Yes, I am a nigger. Get used to it."

Like dear Quentin Crisp explained: tolerance only comes when you've worn people down into accepting that you are what you are.

Re:niggers (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949265)

I might even believe you if you hadn't tagged the end of your post with:

"...especially processing conducted by faggots."

Maybe you are mixed, maybe not. Your post infers the prejudice with those words. I know the vocabulary, I understand the malice and fear behind them. Sadly, I live not far from where the KKK was founded and there are a lot of scared people of many races here. Each of them has racial "power" that's actually the flipside of fear. In my book: all are individuals, some better than others on their own merits.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949303)

if you hadn't tagged the end of your post with:

To illustrate how word usage has changed. "Faggot" on the Internet has become a generic term for an unfashionable/foolish person and is completely divorced from sexual orientation - the word started off having nothing to do with homosexuality and in this context once again has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Does it matter that I'm also bisexual? It shouldn't, by the way. A bisexual bi-racial! I can put my hand down someone's pants and be pleased with whatever I find, and I don't sunburn easily. The world's my oyster, they told me.

(I forgot to tell them I was allergic to seafish!)

I know the vocabulary, I understand the malice and fear behind them.

You know that the words often carry malice or fear, and think that this mean that the words should always carry malice or fear. It's like fearing an object you consider cursed, or relentless hunting an albatross.

That's no way to progress.

Cheer up.

Re:niggers (1)

slacktivist (2563799) | about 2 years ago | (#41949319)

Yeah I guess you're right. Let's ignore the word's history as a term of disparagement, accompanied with violence, because kids these days just stop short of carving the words 'faggot' or 'nigger' into someone's corpse.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949351)

Let's ignore the word's history

No, let's not ignore the word's history. Let's acknowledge it as part of the history of the word.

kids these days just stop short of carving the words 'faggot' or 'nigger' into someone's corpse.

Yes, "kids these days". Never has the world been more racist. Oh wait.

Stop tilting at windmills. It'll distract you from the overwhelming problems which continue to exist. (And racism is one of them, but not to the extent you dream.)

Re:niggers (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949345)

Somehow a meme developed whereby people of color could use the N-word and believed that to be ok. I believe the use of the word carries negative implication no matter who uses it, any any context. It's protected speech.

So also is the f-word.

Your status as a bi-sexual of mixed-race is dubious in my mind, or you wouldn't be actively disrespecting yourself, and others that might be similar to you. Why hate yourself and allow that to propagate? You can be proud. This is 2012. Time to stand up and be counted for being human, no matter the color, no matter the sexual orientation. You presume me to be white and str8. This presumption is part of the problem. By labeling, we do injustice, by pre-judging, hence prejudice.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949405)

Your status as a bi-sexual of mixed-race is dubious in my mind, or you wouldn't be actively disrespecting yourself

And you can kindly fuck off and stop telling me what words I am allowed to use to describe myself.

By labeling, we do injustice, by pre-judging, hence prejudice.

The only labels I've placed are on myself. You're the one going around talking about how other people should go labelling or not labelling.

I'm sufficiently effeminate that most people assume I'm a raging queer - although I can and do enjoy people regardless of gender. And I'm proud of the honky, nigger and wetback mixing pot that is my family. Isn't that great? Not to you, I guess. You want me to tread carefully and be worried about how I self-identify. Because whites ended up using "nigger" as a derogatory term, now no-one at all should use the word ever - because whites are the language police, right? Do you realise how patronising that is? Get that burden off your back, son.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949643)

Cool story br... I mean, fag ;)

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949657)

Call someone patronizing, then 'son'.

I loled at the retard who thinks he is in charge of language.

Re:niggers (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949677)

Not at all.

Language is tricky. You can be what you want to be. My doubts about the nature of your posts has to do with your seeming self-reviling. You describe yourself in terms that don't connote pride, they connote self-loathing, which shouldn't be the case.

Along thru this thread, I've told you that you can use any words that you want; they're protected speech. Your inference, however, is that you seem to despise these things. Being of mixed race, part of the LGBTQ rainbow, these are who you are as an individual. I respect individuals. I don't respect negative labels.

For English, there is no real language police. There is, however, the semantical choices made by English speakers that contextually infer their contexts, and their meanings. Describe yourself in any way you see fit, but don't believe that others want to use the negative inference you've used as well. Indeed, these words are used to subjugate you by labeling you in negative terms. Those negative terms are viable. But they do little good.

That you may be perceived by others negatively is their misfortune. For you to do so, however, validates their negativity and prejudice. Be proud. Pride is a positive quality, and eschews the negative.

Re:niggers (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949477)

To illustrate how word usage has changed. "Faggot" on the Internet has become a generic term for an unfashionable/foolish person and is completely divorced from sexual orientation

That's funny, it had the same definition when I was in middle and high school, but for some reason that excuse doesn't innoculate me from the way others respond to that word.

If you are the only one that knows what you mean when you use that word, it is your problem, not you're listeners.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949529)

for some reason that excuse doesn't innoculate me from the way others respond to that word.

Aye. No need to use among a bunch of homosexuals who are going to be nothing but hurt.

But fine to use it among people, homosexual or not, who have a more mature understanding of language.

Also: "inoculate", "your listener's/listeners'". Bad spelling and grammar often suggest a disrespect for the reader. But I'm not going to turn this into some guilt trip...

Re:niggers (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#41949617)

Actually, it's not the word, it's the person that makes it racist. As George Carlin ($deity bless his smutty soul) said "Eddie Murphy talks about niggers, but he's not a racist, don't be silly. He's a nigger". Is Carlin a racist for using the word? I kinda doubt that he is. And even if, he's not for using the word.

Words are, by themselves, nothing but just that. Words. Idioms to represent something, in case of a noun, to represent an item, a person or an idea. It's the intention behind the word that makes it racist or not. And that's not depending on the word. If a racist calls someone an Afro-American (or whatever the PC word is right now, sorry if I don't keep up with the bull but I prefer to be correct instead of PC), the intention is to use the word not only to ridicule PCness, but also to use the PC term to deem someone inferior.

It is not the word. It is the person that is racist. And by changing the politically correct term for it, you don't change racism. You just paint the shit in a different color, but it still reeks.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949701)

You're failing to recognize satire.

Re:niggers (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41949239)

You'll find that what makes your post racist (as well as homophobic, as well as plain stupid) isn't any word that is contained in it, but the fuck who wrote it.

Re:niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949259)

My post expresses a hatred for homosexuals? Please do explain.

Careful (3, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 2 years ago | (#41949163)

They're only looking for racism directed against Obama, so they won't find (for example) black against white racism in Philadelphia or Latino against Caucasian racism in California. It is truly regrettable that certain organizations like the SPLC dilute their otherwise honorable mission by turning a blind eye to hate in some of its notable forms.

Re:Careful (2, Interesting)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#41949189)

We all know the numbers are skewed. You can make statistics do anything. I live in Philadelphia. We live with Andy Reid and had Donovan McNabb for many years.. Statistically, McNabb threw the fewest interceptions in the NFL..... Factually, he couldn't hit a receiver's hands with a ball if he was given military targeting lasers.

Re:Careful (5, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41949209)

The SPLC does in deed execute their honorable mission. Go to http://truthy.indiana.edu/ [indiana.edu] for other meme propagation and dissemination graphics so you can see that this is one lens to the output of a much larger engine.

Re:Careful (0)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 years ago | (#41949371)

The funny thing about racism is that it generally doesn't matter unless it is against a group that historically has been persecuted and marginalized. So, racism against "black" people is a problem, because it re-enforces that they are a marginalized and persecuted group. However, in most places "white" people are not a marginalized and persecuted group. So while racism against "white" people is wrong, it is not socially such a big deal.

Except where it is a big deal, such as certain parts of Africa. In those places "white" people are a persecuted group, and there are racist policies by governments. (And yet, it is still the case that overall, white people have a better deal in Africa than the majority of black people. The only people who have it better, generally, are those in government and the rich.)

You are, I suspect, just trolling. Because racism against white people in the USA doesn't matter, and is barely notable compared to racism against others. (Yes, historically there was a lot of relevant racism against white people, from other white people. The Irish, for example, got a bad deal for some time. But today, racism against white people is quite irrelevant.)

Re:Careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949495)

Are you out of your fucking mind? So all the highly qualified whites that get boned out of a job because there was a less qualified but black candidate.... that just doesn't matter?

You must never have been fucked out of a job before. Lucky ignorant you.

Re:Careful (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41949547)

Racism is racism, and shouldn't be acceptable in any form, aor against any race to exactly the same degree. Do do so is racism in itself.

Re:Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949393)

But it's totally different if the recipient of the hate is white. Regardless of their words and actions, white people clearly deserve it. It's a cheap consolation knowing that the ugliest traits of humanity are more colorblind in terms of who they infect than our species itself.

Re:Careful (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949567)

white people clearly deserve it

Among the more ignorant things I've read on Slashdot today.

Because white people a hundred and fifty years ago mistreated black people, ALL white people "clearly deserve it"?

Re:Careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949457)

When 93 percent of race X votes for the same race, that is racism. Race is not an issue in the elections anymore. It is just more skewed to minorities now.

Re:Careful (2)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949537)

SPLC catergorized the New Black Panther Party and it's leader as a Right-Wing Extremist group [splcenter.org] , because, apparently, they never allowed for the possibility of a Left-Wing Extremeist group.

ugh, it's too early (0)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#41949167)

It's too early to mitigate trolls. My coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

Racist terms? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949187)

What the fuck does that even mean? Who gets to pick those out?
Example...
All over the USA is a restrauant called cracker barrel.
And yet i would be sued out of existance for putting up a restrauant called nigger bucket...

Sure seems to be the same to me. i'd call them both racist! But somehow the powers that pick these things disagree. so whos picking the terms for this geomapping?

Re:Racist terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949227)

You'll find that the number of people (racist or not) calling Obama a "cracker" are vanishingly small, so this is completely irrelevant to the study.

Re:Racist terms? (2)

captainkoloth (99341) | about 2 years ago | (#41949317)

Cracker Barrel isn't meant as a term of offense. Specifically, it's a term coined because general stores in the 19th centuries kept items, Like crackers in large barrels. Though, I wouldn't hold them up as a standard of racial harmony considering how many times they've been sued for racial discrimination.

Re:Racist terms? (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949627)

Wow, conflating an item in a 19th century general store with a restaurant chain and a racial slur?

Sometimes white people are called "Cracker" [urbandictionary.com]

General Stores used to have "Cracker Barrels" [vermontcommonfoods.com] where folks would sit around the barrel, eat the crackers, and talk about the day's events, politics, etc.

There is a popular restaurant chain called "Cracker Barrel" [crackerbarrel.com]

Re:Racist terms? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949373)

Sure seems to be the same to me.

And yet they're not even close to being the same thing. In the case of Cracker Barrel, 'cracker' has more than 1 commonly used definition and it's clearly not the racial slur in the case of the restaurant. Also, the racial slur 'cracker' doesn't have the same cultural baggage associated with it [youtube.com] . For example, you won't find it hard to use the word 'cracker' on network television, but it would be incredibly hard to get permission to use the word 'nigger'. There are few places in the U.S. where a white person could go and have to deal with any form of racism. The same is not true for most minorities.

If you have a problem with the word 'nigger' being considered a racial slur and can't understand the difference in cultural baggage between 'cracker' and 'nigger', you might want to take a little more time to study racial issues in this country. You obviously don't have any experience dealing with true racism first hand.

Re:Racist terms? (2, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949589)

Apparently Chris Matthews gets to decide what is racist. For example, he declared that refering to "Chicago" is racist. [realclearpolitics.com]

So now we have proof (-1, Flamebait)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41949195)

that all Alabamians are dirty racists!

Re:So now we have proof (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#41949213)

I'm just waiting for one who lacks reading comprehension skills (to know that was an insult) to come in and say "ROLL TIDE" which seems to be the "we know nothing but football" middle-america-battle-cry variant for that part of the world. Here in PA, we get to hear "we are" over and over from the Pennsyl-tucky-ans because PSU grads can't seem to finish a sentence.

Re:So now we have proof (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41949451)

I was trying to make a point that calling the inhabitants of a place racist is itself a form of racism. Looks like you guys didn't get your sarcasm detector calibrated today.

Oh boy, here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949203)

Yeah, but how much of that is from hipsters trying to be "ironic" and /b/tards trying to be edgy?

Re:Oh boy, here we go... (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | about 2 years ago | (#41949217)

Don't forget "unique" and "completely original" lol

Alabama and Mississipi Full of Racists. (1, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41949205)

Film at Eleven.

Missives heading for New York (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#41949613)

Film at Eleven

Congratulations, Slashdot -- achievement unlocked: (5, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 2 years ago | (#41949243)

"Make Trolls Stay On-Topic"

Wow, they have done it again (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41949279)

Modern media: redefining "racism" and "hate speech" in any way that suit their current needs. I mean...WTF? We've hardly begun teaching computers to understand meanings in natural text, and now we have suddenly computers making psychological profiles? Give me a break.

Re:Wow, they have done it again (3, Funny)

mariox19 (632969) | about 2 years ago | (#41949357)

The most charitable explanation for your post is that you did not click on the link and take a look at the article.

Re:Wow, they have done it again (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41949491)

Oh, bur I did. The most charitable explanation for *your* reply is that you are gifted with some sort of supernatural immunity to sheer frustration, can never, ever lose your balance, and therefore can't understand why, e.g., people sometimes do things out of exasperation (like kicking a dustbin and stubbing their toes) they wouldn't do in a saner state of mind (and I'm sure that in your innocent POV, those must seem like violent felons-in-waiting prone to hate crimes against garbage disposal equipment). Well, guess what. People aren't perfect, but not all those who aren't perfect are rotten at core for that reason alone.

Re:Wow, they have done it again (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949639)

May I remind you, this is Slashdot - reading past the headline is optional, and in no way required (or expected) before posting here...

Re:Wow, they have done it again (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41949473)

The computer drew no conclusions, it merely computed the input it was given, using the parrameters programmed into it. Any profile created is the result of HUMAN thought, not computation,

Subjective data. (0, Troll)

dtmancom (925636) | about 2 years ago | (#41949325)

These days, "Wow, I really disagree with Obama's policy on taxation" = racism.

Re:Subjective data. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949379)

"Wow I really disagree with Obama's policy on Taxation" = Political Discourse
"Wow I really disagree with that N*****'s policy on Taxation" = Racist

It's not that hard to figure out.

Re:Subjective data. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949441)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnRpZ0GI7ug

You hit it. The above is a link to a video of Jimmy Carter stating that reason people don't like Obama policies is because they are racists. Agreed to by Biden, Pelosi, and Reid. As an Independent I don't like many of Obama's policies and since the DNC LEADERSHIP, not just jackasses with a TV or radio program, think I'm a racist because of that I guess I don't need to support the DNC and they are not looking out for me.

Because of that video and the reactions to it I will never vote for another DNC member again, not even for dog catcher.

Not surprising but the data is flawed (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41949343)

The data only accounts for racism specifically targetting Obama by the looks of it. So not surprisingly the states that lost the civil war have the most. But it appears to be counting tweets vs accounts. That makes a huge difference because it only takes one mouthy retard to drive your state up the ranks.

Re:Not surprising but the data is flawed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949679)

And how does it handle colloquial use of certain terms that are likely considered racist.
For example, if someone tweeted, "My nigger, elected again, you go black man!" (a positive statement), the algo may detect that as racist ( a negative tone).

Or is a human reviewing each tweet and rating it.

Re:Not surprising but the data is flawed (1)

kenh (9056) | about 2 years ago | (#41949699)

Wow, I wonder if there is a correlation between the way the state voted and their uncovering of racisim in tweets?

There are several kinds of racists:

a) Racists that don't know about/don't have accounts on Twitter
b) Racists that have accounts on Twitter, but refuse to post racists tweets
c) Racists that have accounts on Twitter AND post racist tweets

Their "analysis" only picks up the third type of racist.

Question - would their sophisticated analysis software detect a re-tweet pointing out someone else's racist tweet as being racist? For example, if a popular twitter account holder sent out a racist tweet, and then several hundred people that got the one original racist tweet and RT'd it, putting "racists idiot!" in front of the racist post, would that RT count as a new racist post?

Slasdot's racist comments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949375)

...are all the work of that "A. Nonymous Coward" guy. Find this Mr. Coward (assuming that is his real name), and all of the racist posts on /. will end.

No need to thank me...

Different Study (2)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about 2 years ago | (#41949467)

http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/how-racist-are-we-ask-google/ [nytimes.com]
"The state with the highest racially charged search rate in the country was West Virginia. Other areas with high percentages included western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, upstate New York and southern Mississippi."

Different study, different results.

And the counterpoint? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949485)

Did they track the racist tweets, death and riot threats if Romney won? I saw a lot which doesn't mean anything statistically. One picked just now https://twitter.com/MsIvory69/status/267567462298554368 PS. Not at all a Romney supporter.

Should be Celebrating (1)

unamanic (997477) | about 2 years ago | (#41949501)

Never mind the fact that:
- they did not account for multiple tweets from the same person.
- do not consider any term "racist" unless it has been used to "subjugate a people for generations"
- think that 359 TOTAL geocoded tweets out of ALL geocoded tweets (.05%) is statistically significant.

We should be celebrating that only .05% of the population is outwardly racist. Who cares if the south has a marginally higher number or the 359 racist Twitter users. This story is as ludicrous, sensationalized, piece drivel that doesn't really show anything. I've lived in Alabama for almost 3 years now and have yet to run into an openly racist person.

When the author was confronted with questions regarding why he did not do a reciprocal piece, regarding racism against Romney, he argued that there are not words for whites that have the same power as the "n" word for blacks (although he included the word "monkey" in his "study", a word I've heard used to describe fools both white and black alike). It is clear that the authors view is that is impossible whites to be the subject of racism because they were the oppressor 60 years ago. The article leaves you with the implied conclusion that if someone did not vote for Obama, they must be racist (a implication that the author denies in his follow up).

Looks like US population density map (2)

alexmin (938677) | about 2 years ago | (#41949507)

Did they really expect clusters in Rocky Mountains?

Who gives a damn? (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 2 years ago | (#41949511)

The obsession of three groups - blacks, jews and "progressive" whites over "hate" speech, "racism" and "discrimination" is tired and old. Grow up and get over the fact that, for whatever their reasons, some people just don't like you and never will. Nobody ever guaranteed you a world in which everybody loves each other and sings Kumbaya. So your feelings are hurt. Or you feell "threatened". Know what? My feelings get hurt every day. And I feel "threatened" when I walk or drive through certain areas. I don't go running to the cops or my congress critter to "protect" me unless something actually happens. And we certainly already have enough laws on the books to cover every imaginable form of violence.

And as I'm sure to be downmodded, I might as well add this: If twitter were around in 2004 (or even 2000), would this type of analysis be done looking for racicsm and hate speech directed against the white candidate? Really?

Perhaps our progressive friends should spend a little more time in the hood and hear what is said about whites (and even other minority groups). They might be shocked to find that minorities are just as good at hating on others, other minorities included.

They failed to consider the other direction. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949527)

There were loads of racist tweets from blacks threatening to riot if Romney won. Did they manage to track any of those?

News Flash (2)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#41949539)

You can find assholes almost anywhere

All of which are red states (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949587)

Every single one that are shown to have the most racist tweets are indeed red states. Which goes to show the Gas and Oil Party is in of itself racist. Every one of the candidates clearly show their hatred towards education, welfare, et al as being "communist." Their seething hatred towards anyone that is different than them is giving the US a bad reputation in the rest of the world. It is past time to finally ban the GOP as it does nothing to help the country or the world move forward. They only yearn for the years in which religion is in control of everything and to eliminate anyone different than them.

If anyone doesn't believe me about the Gas and Oil Party being racist? Take a look at each party. The Democratic Party is filled with all sorts of people from different backgrounds, with different skin hues to match. Now take a look at the GOP, where is the diversity? All you will see are either inbred, uneducated crackers or rich white males with a few successful .females. Case closed.

Worthless (2)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#41949603)

Aside from the problems people already mentioned, if you look in their FAQ, one correction they didn't even mention is correcting it for total Obama support. Obviously if a place has twice as many Obama opponents it's also going to have twice as many racist Obama opponents. But that doesn't prove that it has "more racist Obama opponents" in the sense we normally think of. If you want that you need ratios.

And 395 is a very small number. They mention that it's not a sample, but it's all the geocoded racist tweets they found, but since it is such a small number, they failed to account for the possibility that there just isn't a lot of racism in the first place, and even if they did look for ratios, "very small percentage compared to another very small percentage" isn't interesting.

And they mention they didn't bother checking all the hateful comments about Romney (they did check for anti-white comments, but they didn't check for comments reflecting other stereotypes). Their excuse is basically "we were trying to find out about racism, which that's not". The trouble with that reasoning is that while anti-Romney tweets are not germane to what they literally claim to be looking for, they are germane to the subtext of what they're looking for, which is that racism is a big problem--if there are a lot of anti-Romney tweets, that can show that the number of anti-Obama tweets is not really such a big deal. "Blacks called names almost as much as Mormons" makes a bad headline, after all.

Similar analysis for homophobic tweets (2)

stepdown (1352479) | about 2 years ago | (#41949623)

It's not mapped, but NoHomophobes.com [nohomophobes.com] have a live stream of tweets containing homophobic language. Write up over at the Guardian's Data Store [guardian.co.uk]

This whole topic is full of shit (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949633)

How is that when people speak their mind it is labeled "racist"? Isn't there a freedom of speech? President is the public persona, up for discussions. There is the first amendment, people. Freedom of speech and expression.

When black people vote for him just because he is black, how isn't this not a racism?
When minority people get lower passing grades in schools how isn't this a racism?

People have the right to speak their mind.

Perhaps you've heard of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949675)

'These findings support the idea that there are some fairly strong clustering of hate tweets centered in southeastern U.S. which has a much higher rate than the national average,'

Perhaps you've heard of the American Civil War? States Rights? John C Calhoon? The Confederacy?

The old timers down there still haven't conceded THAT contest either, trust me.,

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