This past semester, Humboldt State University students in an Advanced Cartography course mapped out hate speech on Twitter for a project called the Geography of Hate. Here's what they learned—drumroll, please—anywhere there is Twitter, there is racism and homophobia!
The map's basis is only 150,000 Tweets, but the data sample was chosen using human intelligence, not algorithms. Students read through all geocoded Tweets in the United States from June 2012 through April 2013 that contained one of the pre-selected hate words, categorizing each one as positive, neutral, or negative; only the Tweets classified "negative" appear in this map, words that were unequivocally deemed hate speech. So, for example, ambiguous uses of "no homo" on Twitter aren't here.
What we learn is that the South is slightly more diverse in its bigotry than the North. The N-word essentially appears anywhere there is population density, with the notable exception of Southern California, but "wetback" seems to be bigger than YOLO in parts of Texas. Georgia likes the nasty word for Koreans that sounds like the stuff that gets stuck in your bathroom tiles. Virginia's Asian derogatory slur of preference is the one that rhymes with "clink." The Hispanic pejorative that rhymes with "tick" doesn't show up much—anyone dumb enough to use it misspells it.
Homophobia is, not surprisingly, all over the country too. Except Los Angeles, where those Hollywood Liberals have their secret gay manufacturing plant, because of course they do.