Dallas is Not the City of Hate Tweets

A screenshot from FloatingSheep.org's Geography of Hate.
A screenshot from FloatingSheep.org’s Geography of Hate.

Late last week a group of geography academics who operate a site called FloatingSheep.org, on which they produce maps of various geo-tagged data for (presumably) both entertainment and enlightenment, posted “Geography of Hate,” a look at the prevalence of hate-filled tweets across the United States.

They analyzed about 150,000 tweets that used various racist or homophobic terms and created a heat map based on the number of those hate-filled messages as compared to the overall Twitter activity in the same county.

Take one look at their entire map, and it seems fairly evident that something is amiss. The eastern half of the United State is packed tight with pockets of red while the western states, and California’s big cities especially, look to be bastions of tolerance. (In an FAQ about the map, FloatingSheep says only “there are many possible explanations for some of the distributions that you can see, and we don’t pretend to have all of the explanations.”)

I’m telling you about this anyway because Dallas comes out looking pretty good, as do most of the country’s major metropolitan areas. It’s in the more rural zones that there are (I’m guessing) so many fewer Twitter users that a few prolifically hateful assholes ruin it for everybody, skewing the map.

Bonham, for example, (about 70 miles northwest of Dallas) is apparently the nastiest place in all of Texas when it comes to homophobia. Meanwhile, if it’s old-fashioned racism you’re looking for, midway between Temple and Waco looks to be the place for you.