Geotagging hate

20 May

geography-of-hate

The Hate Map is “part of a project overseen by Humboldt State University professor Dr. Monica  Stephens, who, along with a team of undergraduate researchers, wanted to test  for geographic relationships to hate speech” (http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/05/20/the-geography-of-u-s-hate-mapped-using-twitter/#ixzz2Tr1lKONS).

While the project has admitted limitations–as Time reports, “the only attitudes captured here are of people who actually use Twitter  and have geotagging enabled (slightly more than 1% of all Twitter  users). Within that group, it only reflects those willing to engage in  hate speech publicly”–it raises some enduring questions about the nature of hate: what are we willing to say aloud or even to publish? What do we think even if we won’t say it? Beyond slurs, how do we give voice to our intolerance

Here is the map, if you’d like to check it out: http://users.humboldt.edu/mstephens/hate/hate_map.html#

Before you take a look at the map, take a moment to notice your expectations about the places in the US you already have ideas about: the regions you come from, live in, know of and avoid. And as you click-through it, how does this data about hate in the US reflect or contradict your experiences? How do your identities shape your exposure to hate?

 

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