Louisiana is home to the people who tweet derogatory slurs with the highest frequency in the country, according to a new analysis from online apartment-finder Abodo. Searching from a list of pejorative terms for women and black, Latino, LGBTQ, overweight, and intellectually disabled people, Abodo found and mapped millions of tweets published from June 2014 to December 2015. About one in every 87 tweets from Louisiana contained a slur traditionally used against these demographic groups, with Nevada, Texas, Maryland, and Delaware rounding out the top five. Wyoming came in last, with about one-tenth as many such tweets as Louisiana.
“Here's How Homophobic, Sexist and Racist Each US State Really Is,” Mic wrote of the report. But lest horrified viewers read too far into the data, it’s important to note that not every slur is backed by malicious intent. Many of the terms Abodo flagged (the full list, a veritable cornucopia of triggers, is here) have been reclaimed to varying degrees by the communities they were created to denigrate. Another qualification: Nevada in general and Las Vegas in particular showed up on top in lists of states whose residents most frequently tweet the words “slut,” “cunt,” “tranny,” and “shemale,” but since those places are home to a thriving sex industry, those terms are likely often used in promotional material, throwing the numbers a bit.
Derogatory terms for women and gay people were the most common categories of slurs, Abodo found. Louisiana took first place in the anti-woman group, with 894 tweets per 100,000; Texas and Maryland came in a distant second and third with 659 and 650 tweets per 100,000, respectively. Abodo also recalculated the data excluding the term bitch, which is sometimes used as general profanity, though I’d argue it still carries a misogynist connotation. Here, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Ohio rose to the top. Buffalo, New York, and smallish cities in California and Texas—plus New Orleans and Lincoln, Nebraska—tweeted the most anti-gay slurs.
The highest concentration of tweets containing pejorative language about black people came from West Virginia, where 83.2 of every 100,000 tweets contained an anti-black slur. West Virginia is more than 90 percent white, which indicates that its frequent use of anti-black language may reflect actual racist sentiment. But cities and states with some of the country’s largest percentages of black residents—Baltimore, Atlanta, Louisiana—had top rates of both black slurs and politically neutral terms for black people, implying more intra-community chatter.
California, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico were home to the highest rates of tweets containing a word from Abodo’s list of slurs against Hispanic and Latina people, which have not been as heartily reclaimed and aren’t actually used much at all. (A search for illegals would have probably turned up a lot more.) That finding isn’t so surprising: These states are also home to the country’s largest proportions of Hispanic and Latino people. A bigger revelation comes when Abodo maps the country’s use of transphobic slurs. Excluding Las Vegas, where the sex and porn industries skew the Twitter data, three Florida cities—Orlando, Tampa, and Miami—top the list of U.S. cities that tweet anti-trans language.