SHOCK OVER 2.5 MILLION 'FAGGOT' TWEETS
Thu, 27 September 2012
A new monitoring project has found that a shocking 2.5 million tweets that include the word "faggot" have been posted on Twitter in less than two months.
The website NoHomophobes.com, launched by the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, is designed as "a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in our society".
It monitors, in real time, the use of anti-gay slurs on Twitter - and the results have been shocking.
Between 5 July and 26 September this year, the site recorded an astonishing 2,508,622 instances of the word "faggot" in tweets.
During the same period, 896,756 tweets included "So Gay", 818,652 included "No Homo", 896,756 used "So Gay" and 346,977 mentioned the word "Dyke".
"In the time it takes you to read this story, the word 'faggot' will have appeared on Twitter about 80 times," said the institute in a press release.
“We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media,” commented Dr. Kristopher Wells, the institute’s Associate Director.
“The use of homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in our society and make no mistake, leads to isolation, bullying, beatings, and tragically youth suicide,” he said.
Wells explained that the site makes it obvious — in spite of the fact that many of the tweets are not intended to be negative or hurtful — that sexual minority youth live every day in an intense context of negative, often hate-filled input.
“What the website then becomes is a call to action,” he said. “It is about people no longer participating in this kind of casual homophobia.”
“We want people to speak up and help break the silence that surrounds these issues,” said Wells. “When we don’t intervene and we don’t speak up and say that’s unacceptable, our silence makes us complicit in the act of discrimination.”
Nohomophobes.com will be supported by a media campaign, including posters and displays on the university’s campus and across the city of Edmonton, Canada.