Where are America's racist anti-Obama tweets coming from?

Floatingsheep's map of election tweets shows a "strong clustering of hate tweets centered in southeastern U.S."

Published November 9, 2012 9:34PM (EST)


A group of academics that run the data visualization blog Floatingsheep has collected “some of the nastiest tweets you might possibly imagine" post-election and mapped them onto physical locations. The results are not all-together unsurprising: Many of the racist tweets against Obama come from states that voted for Romney, and there is a higher than average concentration in the southeastern United States. Time writes:

Alabama and Mississippi scored worst, with eight times more racist tweets than the national average, according to the study. Georgia, North Dakota, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, West Virginia and Minnesota all ranked three to four times above the national average in terms of prevalence of racist tweets. Among those [nine] states, only Minnesota voted for Obama.

But the findings are not a way to confirm stereotypes. Rather, the analysis "is a useful reminder that technology reflects the society in which it is based, both the good and the bad" and that "information space is not divorced from everyday life."

For the full methodology and interactive map, visit the blog.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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2012 Election Barack Obama Data Visualization Racism Twitter