Areas with misogynistic tweets linked to more violence against women


Areas which produce a lot of misogynistic tweets are more likely to have higher incidences of domestic and family violence against women, finds a study.

Tracking such tweets using Big Data can help determine where violence against women is likely to occur, according to the study published in the journal Psychological Science.

“That information could be useful for not only law enforcement, but also for public health interventions which may intervene to counteract norms of misogynistic violence,” said Siobhan O’Dean, doctoral researcher at the School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, in Australia.

The researchers noted that even if the person posting a misogynistic hate speech is not violent, it can create an atmosphere where violence towards women may be more likely.

“We found that misogynistic social media may not be harmless,” said Tom Denson, a professor in the School of Psychology at University of New South Wales.

“It contributes to norms of violence towards women and a hostile worldview that may slip into real-world violence,” Denson added.

The study, published in Psychological Science, not only found this connection with domestic and family violence getting carried over from one year to the next, but also occurred despite the ‘usual suspects’ of domestic violence, such as alcohol and inequality.

The team used Big Data to predict domestic violence from misogynistic tweets across a two-year period. And then it compiled all of the data reported by the local law enforcement agencies in the US to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on arrests for domestic and family violence.