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Demos study shows 14,000 Tweets a day contain racial slurs

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A British research organization trawled nine days of Twitter’s live feed looking to see just how people use racial slurs online.

Their results are counter-intuitive. While more than 14,000 messages a day typically have an identifiable racial slur, that’s less than one in 15,000 English-language messages, according to Demos’ Anti-Social Media study published this week.

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The most common slur used: White boy.

Also common were “paki,” “whitey,” “pikey,” “nigga,” “spic,” “crow,” “squinty” and “wigga.” Roughly half of the instances involve the use of derogatory language “in a non-offensive, non-abusive manner, to express in-group solidarity or non-derogatory description,” Demos wrote. These top ten contained about 87 percent of racial slurs in the sample. “Relatively few tweets – from 500 to 2,000 per day – were directed at an individual and clearly abusive.”

Demos noted that racial abuse online is doubtlessly broader than the sample, since many people hurl racial invective without using obvious racial slurs. But if someone uses Twitter to call someone a racially-offensive name, in the public feed, in a way that is clearly abusive, it’s incredibly rare and probably notable since fewer than one in 75,000 messages contain language used that way.

Demos researchers led by Jamie Bartlett used a combination of natural language processing algorithms and human analysts to categorize subset samples of the data. The team used Wikipedia’s crowdsourced terms considered derogatory as the sample set.

The classification of terms appears to have been fraught with mixed-messages and unclear cultural context, analysts noted. Many messages contain “casual use” slurs that reflect social norms within the sender’s personal community, but not overt hostility.

“The racially-prejudiced tweets appear not to be uniform in nature; we suggest that a proportion of such tweets might be described as showing a ‘casual use’ of slurs,” Demos wrote. “They contain phraseology that might be deemed insulting, abusive, or threatening, and they use terms in a prejudicial fashion, but the terms are used in an off-hand or casual manner. … It suggests underlying racism, but conveyance of that racist viewpoint is often not the point of the message.”

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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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