(IMAGE: South Florida Gay News)
Prior to the advent of Twitter, the social media networking site for decidedly anti-social people who can not live in the moment or articulate hatred with their mouths, you had to burn crosses or beat up gay people if you wanted to express your phenomenally, breathtaking idiotic and bigoted views. Now all it takes is an internet connection, 140 characters, and carpel tunnel syndrome.
Geography students at Humboldt State University in California have invented a stunning new interactive map that wonderfully depicts some of the most overtly racist and homophobic regions in America (I mean, ‘Merica) based upon tweets sent out from those places. And once again, Rhode Island has proven to be a racist potty mouth. Not really, but could you imagine? In other wards, we now have an interactive map that confirms Texas and the south are outposts of socially backwards thinking. In what more closely resembles skin cells having sex, the map identifies the most hateful tweets (and Twitter users) emanating from the eastern half of the country, particularly states like Oklahoma and Texas. The most racist tweets came out of lesser populated areas (or the only type of populated areas) in the states of Indiana and North Dakota. No word yet if whether they will start handing out bronze statues in the shape of burning crosses yet.
In what must have resulted in spontaneous combustion, the students reportedly examined over 150,000 geocoded tweets from June 2012 to April 2013 before inventing the map. That type of torture is akin to listening to a Michele Bachmann filibuster on loop for a whole year. The tweets were delineated to show results for keywords like “fag,” “dyke,” “homo” and “queer.”
Stay classy, Twitter.
If you wish to see the interactive map, click here.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.