Columnist: Hatred finds a home in social media

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

By Glenn Dowell

Contributing columnist

Do you dislike black people, fat people, transgenders or homosexuals? Don’t fret — there are states in our country that might welcome you with open arms.

If you believe a report that was recently released by Fusion, a growing media and communication company that caters almost exclusively to the young, there are states in our country which seem to be a kind of haven for those who embrace hatred and discrimination against others (, “These are the most hate-filled places in America, according to their tweets,” published March 8, 2016).

Between June 2014 and December 2015, Abodo geo-located keywords among 12 million tweets (, “Tolerance in America,” published Feb. 25, 2016). The site looked for keywords such as slurs and other prejudiced language against black people, Hispanic/Latinos, women, gays, lesbians, transgender people, people with disabilities and those who were overweight.

If you believe the report, which has been distributed widely in the media, the state that holds the number one place overall, with respect to derogatory language, per 100,000 tweets, is Louisiana. In essence, during the research period there were 1,155 negative and discriminatory tweets per 100,000 that would appear to be evidence of tweeters who harbor the dislike of others for various reasons. Of the 10 states recorded, Georgia, with 699 discriminatory tweets per 100,000, was ninth.

States where there is the least derogatory language, per 100,000 tweets

The state that tops the list in this category is Wyoming, with only 120 derogatory tweets per 100,000 from tweeters. The report found, in fact, there were actually less tweeting of derogatory language against others in states such as Montana, Vermont, South Dakota and Idaho, to name a few.

Cities determined to be hate-filled with the highest use of anti-black terms, including the N-word per 100,000 tweets

You know what? The number one city in this category is Baltimore, Maryland — 82 tweets per 100,000 — followed by, of all places, Atlanta, Georgia — 73 tweets per 100,000. Judging by the report, it appears that tweeters in these cities, including places such as Newark, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; Garland, Texas; and Madison, Wisconsin, regularly incorporate the N-word in their tweets.

Slurs against Hispanics and Latino per 100,000 tweets

It should not come as a surprise that with the current anger against Mexico in this country that there would not be intense feelings against Hispanics and Latinos. It should come as even less of a surprise that where there is a high concentration of Hispanics and Latinos, racial tensions may be evident. Although the tweets per 100,000 may not be abnormally high, Bakersfield, California, according to the report, appears to be the number one anti-Hispanic city in the country — 24 tweets per 100,000 — followed by Chula Vista, California — 18 tweets per 100,000 — and Modesto, California — 17 tweets per 100,000.

Do you dislike women? You might feel right at home, in some cities

Do you long for the “Leave it to Beaver” days, where the wife stayed at home and the husband was treated like the king of the household? It is difficult to determine exactly why the report discovered so many negative tweets against women, but of the 10 cities included in the report the average rant — tweeting — against women was nearly 2,000 tweets per 100,000. In fact, New Orleans, Louisiana, holds the number one spot with respect to gender insults — 3,696 tweets per 100,00 — followed by Atlanta — 3,212 tweets per 100,000 — and Baton Rouge — 2,698 tweets per 100,000.

Do you dislike gays and lesbians? Well, judging from the report released by Fusion, you’re probably not alone. Of the 10 cities where emotions ran high against lesbians and gays, Buffalo, New York — 168 tweets per 100,000 — followed by Arlington, Texas — 161 tweets per 100,000 — and Riverside, California — 158 tweets per 100,000 — tweeters used this social media to vent their anger.

Slurs against transgender people

Nationally, the subject of transgender people has become a hot topic, especially with regard to their choosing to use public restrooms relating to their identity. Critics, however, want transgender people to use public restrooms that relate to their gender at birth. The issue has resulted in demonstrations and protests around the country.

The cities that are the most vocal with respect to tweets against transgender people are Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa.

Question: Are you a Twitter user? Do you use social media to espouse hatred of others?

Glenn Dowell is an author and LaGrange native who currently lives in Jonesboro. He may be reached at