Mapping the Hate

Have you heard about The Geography of Hate project created by Humboldt State University undergraduate students?

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They sifted through a year of geocoded conversations from twitter to find hate words used in a negative context (which is important to note, since many people now use these words in a positive or neutral manner). The words were then applied to a color gradient map.

The map shows certain areas I was surprised to find concentrated with hate speech. (Especially in the San Francisco area.)

On a positive note: it looks like Utah really does have nice people living there…or maybe they are like me and aren’t big tweeters? Either way, they seem to have the lowest amount of “hate word” tweets.

What do you think about this? Were you already aware of social media being used as a outlet for hate speech, or is this map shocking to you?


  1. The average twitter user is a 37 year old female, and is being accessed on an Iphone. Does that mean that more women are being hateful? I would love to see what words, and what context they were used in. It’s hard to trust almost anything on the internet when it comes to stastistics because someone, they always have an agenda, or an opinion of their own.

  2. The only reason Montana is empty of it is because the data uses Twitter. If it used Facebook….sometimes I am disappointed in my home state.

  3. It’s interesting (particularly when you zoom in and filter for certain words), and it seems well-designed. However, it does represent the “hatred” of a specific non-random segment of the population, and I’d be curious to know whether the same very active “tweeters” are skewing the results for some areas, as some fairly rural (low population) counties in my area show up with a lot of heat.

  4. I was bummed to see that Alaska was not on the map. I am curious about racism here.

    • you can zoom out to see alaska and hawaii. they are not a hateful state although people think of us as ‘deep red’. I live in alaska now and people here are genuinely so nice!

  5. I think this map is pretty skewed because its just using raw numbers and not population density. I love to see it with context given # rascist tweets/person.

    • For the protection of the tweeters (am I using that correctly?) They didn’t release any of those helpful details (of course). I actually went online and first used a hashtag with those worse and then just the word in the search bar. I kind of wish I didn’t do that, it was really disturbing. Most of the homophobic words I found were used in a positive or neutral manner (especially queer, which they have on here being negative the most)….but the most alarming was the “n” word, which is still used as clear hate speech. It was sickening. Don’t look…

      • they should do a study based on You Tube comments because I have never seen so much disgusting speech as in the comments on videos there. It’s overrun with the stuff, just dripping with it. You will also find hate comments on pretty much any video — there’s no rhyme or reason. People just seem to want to spew hate in every direction. (I’d like to see a breakdown by gender as well, but I guess that’s impossible.) People will say things in You Tube comments that I don’t think they would tweet or post on Facebook.

  6. That’s a lot of hate in the east and south. Sorry to say I live in the east.

  7. It would make more sense to use Facebook than twitter. Many adults and even young adults don’t use twitter, like myself.

  8. Weird, I clicked on the link and the map doesn’t have nearly as much red as it does in the pic here – is it varied by certain times? or maybe I’m clicking wrong?

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