Canada: University website tracks anti-gay Twitter comments

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A new Canadian social experiment has found that millions of anti-gay slurs have been used on Twitter in the past two months.

The University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services is behind a new web-based project designed to act as a “social mirror” that reflects the use of homophobic language online.

The Advocate reports that the department’s newly-created website has a daily counter on its home page that tracks the number of slurs tweeted.

Figures show that the word “faggot” was used more than 2.5 million times since July. Last week alone, it was in 219,000 tweets.

Meanwhile, the phrase “So Gay,” was in 900,000 tweets, while another 800,000 had “No Homo.”

The word “dyke” came across in 350,000 comments.

The institute’s Associate Director Kristopher Wells said his team “never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media,” adding that it continues to be “one of the few …acceptable forms of discrimination in our society.”

Earlier this year, Stonewall revealed in its School Report of 2012 that 55% of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils in Britain’s secondary schools experience homophobic bullying, while 99% hear the word ‘gay’ being used disparagingly.