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The Alarming Use Of Homophobic Language On Twitter

The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta launched NoHomophobes.com to track the use of gay slurs on Twitter. The rate is discouraging to anyone who thought homophobia was a thing of the past.

The campaign was launched on July 5th and here is what they tracked in just 83 days:

Faggot is tweeted “an average of nearly 1 million times per month, or over 10 million times a year.”

Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Director for iSMSS, responded to the data in a press release:

We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media. The use of homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in our society and make no mistake, leads to isolation, bullying, beatings, and tragically youth suicide.

Homophobic language is still prevalent and can be heard everywhere in our society. Whether it is used directly as a weapon against sexual and gender minorities or passively as a pejorative term, the prevalence of “casual homophobia” persists. It continues to grow and reinforces a belief in our society that it’s okay to use this kind of discriminatory speech with friends, in school, at work, and in the locker room.

The campaign is encouraging users of social media to combat this language with a #nohomophobes hashtag. For more information, visit NoHomophobes.com.

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