A report showing which of America’s colleges have the most hateful tweets has caused such an uproar that its authors took it offline.
Collegestats.org looked at all the tweets coming from a 1 or 3 mile radius of a college campus and compared them to a list of “hate” words. These words included everything from slurs against gay people to people of different ethnic groups, such as “junglebunny” or “raghead.”
Then CollegeStats.org sorted the data to create lists including “Most Derogatory Tweets,” “Most Anti-Black Tweets” and “Most Anti-Gay Tweets.”
The results showed that hateful language used on social media could be seen on campuses across the country. Among the top 10 schools with derogatory tweets were Eastern Michigan University, SUNY Cortland in New York State and Southeast Missouri State University.
The report also measured derogatory language towards women, led again by Southeast Missouri State. When the word “b***h” was removed from the data, two Connecticut schools made the top ten list: Albertus Magnus College and Yale University.
The most anti-gay tweets came out of Husson University in Bangor, Maine, and the most anti-black tweets came from the very place that saw one of its first high schools integrated — Little Rock, Arkansas’ University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
But the study’s authors say people misconstrued the data.
“The recent study on the tweeting of derogatory words on or near college campuses has been removed from our website because some have misinterpreted the data presented,” reads a statement online.
Critics had pointed out that the study didn’t take into account the context of the tweets and the data could have been skewed by tweeters who lived near campus but weren’t students.
But the study’s authors still stand by their work.
“The study could have spurred thoughtful discussion of the impact of derogatory language on society. By highlighting the derogatory words tweeted, the affected colleges and universities had an opportunity to address, denounce, and educate. But the findings were misconstrued and sensationalized beyond recognition, undermining the potential useful purpose of the study.”