September 27, 2012
The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta launched in July to track the usage of anti-gay language on Twitter, including “F*ggot,” “So gay,” “No homo,” and “dyke.” In the short time the tracker has been active, it has found the word “F*ggot” over 2.5 million times, an average of nearly 1 million times per month, or over 10 million times a year. Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Director for iSMSS, responds to the data collected so far: WELLS: 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. [...] Our use of casual homophobia must end. We are all responsible to put a stop to it. The lives of our youth, and the humanity of our society depends upon it.