Racial slurs appear in more than 10,000 tweets per day, according to a recent study conducted by Demos.
The think tank mined more than 125,000 English-language tweets and discovered that close to one in every 15,000 contained racial epithets. The most common slurs are pretty gross. They include “Paki,” “nigga,” “spic,” “crow” and “squinty.”
Oh, “white boy” was curiously counted among the slurs, too. You know, to be fair.
The report also reveals that more often, these slurs were thrown around in a “nonoffensive fashion.” Slurs are described as inoffensive when “a large proportion [of the slurs were] used by people describing themselves or members of their own community.”
Here are the six distinct ways the report suggests that racial slurs are thrown around on Twitter (emphasis ours), according to the United Kingdom’s Metro:
Negative stereotype—where a user ascribes physical attributes or behaviour to an individual or group; casual use of slurs—where a derogatory term associated with a specific group is used but without mention of physical or behavioural attributes; targeted abuse—where slurs are tweeted directly at a specific person with intent to cause harm or distress; appropriated—a group using or “reclaiming” for itself a term usually seen as negative; non-derogatory—a term which includes a stereotype but which is not hurtful or derogatory; offline action‚ an explicit incitement to do something in the real world, including in ideological and political contexts.
Twitter’s policy on racism and freedom of expression has come under scrutiny in recent months since Stan Collymore, a former professional soccer player based in the U.K., accused the site of not doing enough to protect high-profile users from racist attacks.