Louisiana tops in posting hateful, abusive tweets in US: Study

Washington, March 12 (IANS) When it comes to tweeting hateful and abusive content on the micro-blogging site Twitter, the state of Louisiana – at a rate of 1,115 tweets per 10,000 – has become the origin of the most “slur-containing” tweets in the US.

According to “Best Places to Live” study conducted by apartment hunting app Abodo that analysed 12 million tweets, people from northwestern and midwestern states had lowest instances of derogatory language on Twitter, adweek.com reported.

The report defines slurs as derogatory language against blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, women, LGBT, people with disabilities and the overweight.

“Texas, Nevada and even California made the list of states with high rates of derogatory language,” the report added.

According to the findings, when it came to derogatory language against women, Louisiana again topped with nearly 900 posts per 10,000 containing such terms.

However, when the word “bitch” was excluded from the derogatory language against women list, Nevada topped the state with the most frequent use of derogatory terms.

West Virginia had the highest rate of anti-black tweets, with Baltimore, Atlanta and New Orleans ranking as cities with the most tweets containing slurs against blacks.

When it came to anti-Hispanic tweets, California, Arizona and New Mexico ranked among the top states for tweets with anti-Hispanic slurs.

Tweets from the western state of Wyoming contained only 120 slurs per 10,000 posts.

In its latest bid to stop people from tweeting abusive and violent posts, Twitter recently updated its policy.

“The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behaviour intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice,” Megan Cristina, Twitter’s trust and safety director, said in its blog post.

“As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse,” she posted.

Over the past year, Twitter has taken several steps to fight abuse in order to protect freedom of expression.

It has empowered users with tools for blocking, muting and reporting abusive behaviour.

“We evolved our policy to capture more types of abusive behaviour. We’ve also increased our investment in policy enforcement so that we can handle more reports with greater efficiency, and bolstered educational resources through a new Twitter Safety Centre,” Cristina wrote.

One of the areas Twitter found to be effective in this multi-layered strategy of fighting abuse is creating mandatory actions for suspected abusive behaviour such as email and phone verification and user deletion of Tweets for violations.

“These measures curb abusive behaviour by helping the community understand what is acceptable on our platform,” the post read.

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