SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

May 18, 2013

Map of hateful tweets shows hotspots

(Continued)

He said steps were taken to protect the privacy of people who tweeted the hateful speech.

The map’s result was based on how often people used Twitter in that particular location. A ratio was created by county to see what proportion of tweets were hateful, Stephens said.

“People may feel their communities are misrepresented, but these are parts of the community that they may not be interacting with and may not see,” she said. “We hope that this is an impetus for a conversation with members of a community about using these words and not supporting these groups.”

Those upset with how the maps looks can help change it by geocoding their own tweets, which would help improve the ratio of overall tweets to those with hate words in them, Stephens said.

“Stop tweeting hate,” Stephens said. “Start tweeting things that are more benign, that mention how much support there is and resources there are in the community for individuals. If Twitter had more of that and a little less negative sentiment, that would change it.”

She said she hopes the map encourages people to reach out and start conversations with their neighbors and others who are different from themselves.

“We hope that people are offended by this language,” Stephens said. “We hope people are shocked by it.”

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TO VIEW THE MAP:

http://users.humboldt.edu/mstephens/hate/hate(underscore)map.html(pound sign)

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©2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Topics: g000362661,g000066164

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