Well, there's a surprise
How much did that research cost?
If you live in a city where people are more likely to make racist remarks on Twitter, there's apparently a high chance that there are increased rates of racially motivated hate crimes, too. A paper (PDF) describing the finding was recently presented at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference …
Whilst IP address is (probably) sufficient in most cases - how many reported the location of their ISP instead of their physical one?
I'm usually reported as being either in Maidenhead (ISP) or Central London (VPN), as opposed to deepest darkest Wiltshire...
Will be similar for many phone users, if using Twitter app on phone, unless you agree to share real location with Twitter, it will fall back to data provider which could be a large distance away.
Remember, if you must use social media on a phone (glares at partner) ensure the app cannot access your location
The best mistake I heard of was someone in San Francisco, near the docks, when their phone told them they were actually on the other side of the Pacific.
Turned out their phone had picked up the wifi on a nearby cruise ship, which had been added to the location map when it was docked elsewhere...
(buggered if I can find the original article though)
There's a correlation between absolute number of racist Tweets and absolute number of reported hate crimes. I wonder if there's also a correlation with population size? You know, places that have more people tend to generate more Twitter traffic than places with fewer people, and places with more people tend to have more crime reported. Surprisingly today we learn that there are 8,000 more theft crimes per year on the London tube network than in cities that don't have a London Underground.
I think we take it as read that scientists do take account of these confounding factors, but you can't make these assumptions. You have to state if the measures you are using are per capita or not; it's only a few extra characters.
Actually, the paper's contents are much more interesting than the summary reported. Not 100% convinced by their methods, as their algorithm was very much tuned towards "white-originating" racist language than racism in general, and they did look at the racial demographics of cities. Most interesting was the pinpointing of particular "mouth-piece" racists.
So, where more racists are likely to live and express that online, you're more likely to run into a racist? Shocking, I tell you.
Please re-do the study in places where casual racism isn't tolerated and is a (real-life) arrestable offence... people moan and whine about the police "wasting their time nicking someone for saying something offensive", but I bet that it results in a lot less racist acts of more serious natures.
"re-do the study in places where casual racism isn't tolerated and is a (real-life) arrestable offence"
I am not aware of any such places. I can think of some where the expression of casual racism will involve the party in a confrontation that may start with a fist fight and go on from there. But this is nothing new. It is true that in some jurisdictions you will end up on hate crime charges as well as assault etc. if you preface your attack with racial slurs.
'People moan and whine about the police "wasting their time nicking someone for saying something offensive", but I bet that it results in a lot less racist acts of more serious natures.'
I am not sure where these guardians of decency work. However, a transcript of the radio traffic of a lot of US police forces might astonish them.
Just in 2019 alone, BBC News has carried three front-page stories of people being arrested and charged in the UK for using racist language on public transport, getting themselves recorded on other traveller's cameraphones and then those people (rightly) escalate that complaint to police, who (rightly) act upon it.
I can't say I'm at all horrified by that. Normalisation of such acts is exactly what allows them to propagate. Nobody should be made to feel humiliated, threatened or persecuted because they happen to be a slightly different colour or speak in a slightly different accent, especially when the perpetrators are often the dumbest, skankiest, most worthless people alive even if you set their racism to one side, and especially when the entire foundation of their threatening "go home" rant is predicated on the other being a different colour when in fact they were all likely born in Britain.
You can shout and yell at people if you want, call them names, etc. there's no law against that. What you can't do is start a scene and intimidate anyone on the basis of your own (illegal) prejudice.
(Cue the USians now lecturing us on our 1984, CCTV, rampant terrorism, stabbings-every-second, police-state culture while simultaneously not understanding even one little bit quite how much cow excrement that all is - and not picking up that *private* citizens were the only ones to voluntarily record and report it and the police knew nothing about it until they did, and that in all the major reported instances nobody was physically hurt whatsoever... come and experience and understand British culture or shut up with your Trump-parroted tabloid fictions).
My partner works for the local constabulary as civilian staff supporing witnesses and victims. She could tell you first hand that racist incidents (and other hate crimes) have gone up markedly in recent years, with a notable spike after the 2016 referendum. Whether official statistics come from the Police or from surveys belies the point (there will be sources of bias in any such data set). When public figure and the media normalise such behaviour, people will feel it is more acceptable to act like arseholes towards each other, and they'll pick on any perceived difference to do it. This devisiveness almost certainly plays into the hands of those sponsoring such public acceptance. After all, if the populace are fighting each other, they are less likley to blame those in charge.
I came to observe that in the US in general offensive language is not an offense per se, though it may be an aggravating factor in any offense charged.
And if fact that sounds quite a bit like "What you can't do is start a scene and intimidate anyone on the basis of your own (illegal) prejudice." Or it would, if I knew under how one judged the legality of prejudice.
"Or it would, if I knew under how one judged the legality of prejudice."
Quite easily. If it's on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation, it's illegal. Prejudice is also quite well defined.
If you can't use it as an excuse not to hire people, you can't do it when yelling at people in the street.
You can choose to not hire people just because they are as dumb as hell. You can choose not to hire people just because they're lazy. You can even choose not to hire people because they have a criminal record. You can choose not to hire people just because they have a certain appearance (or lack of it) if it's necessary. You can't choose not to hire people just because they are female/Down's/Sikh/elderly/Christian/gay. Sure, there may be *other factors*, maybe even some related factors (i.e. they need to be able to physically perform the task, the job involves burning crosses, or whatever), but you can't do it *just* because of those things, or where those things are the primary factor.
Hence, using those things to harass people in the street is likely to be a specific offence, even if you put aside public-order offences, breach of the peace, etc. I can call you an absolute moron. I can call you an <expletive> moron. (providing I'm not disturbing the peace). What I can't do is call you a moron <racist epiphet>.
I am not aware of any such places.
Circa 1948, whilst installing on contract a rudimentary tin-can internet in the Kremlin [ 50mm TV showed scenic glories of the Motherland in rotation whilst on the other end of the soup-cans a team of crack researchers recited excerpts from The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia in response to any question ] I was warned that making 'Irish Jokes' about Georgians could well carry a slight penalty.
watches free speech fly out the window.
Free speech doesn't include the right not to be offended by someone. Why can't people like you grasp this? Free speech includes the right to offend, the right to criticize, the right to take the piss. The first act of a fascist state is to remove the right to criticize or mock - hence why fascist regimes control the media, and close down newspapers, arrest political cartoonists.. You are supporting fascism.
Generations of people fought for the right to blaspheme against religion, and cast an opinion about other peoples and nations. We’re now backtracking on that and offering one religion in particular — Islam — special protection from criticism. This is so wrong. People must be free to doubt and mock Islam, or any other religion, cult, nation or philosophy. The foundation of democracy is free speech.
You just did it. And yet I don't see any blue-lights.
But "free speech" doesn't run to prejudice on the basis of religion or other things (see above for the EU-wide law on that). They can no more prejudice me for my athiesm than I can for their Christianity (P.S. I'm athiest. I've worked in a Catholic school... it would be incredibly difficult, and possibly illegal, for them to argue against. The only thing that really stops others doing that is that they don't want to work around a bunch of Christians if they're not Christian, not that they'd reject you out of hand for not being Christian).
I have the right to mock whoever I like. To criticise. But not necessarily to offend. Try telling a judge that he's an <expletive> and see how far it gets you. That's not criticism, or mocking. I can say I disagree with the judge, I can even mock him outside of court. I can't necessarily offend him.
Nobody fought for the right for people to be twats. If anything, almost the entire war was predicated on a principle of "You can't persecute someone just because they're Jewish".
The seed of hatred is prejudice and generalisation... "they must support X because they're Islamic", in your example. I for sure wouldn't want to be classed with the action of every athiest and agnostic in the world. I'm sure there are millions, if not more, of Islamists who don't want anything to do with what you're over-blowing... and judge you for doing so.
Islamic schools get shutdown if they're abusive or intolerant, just like any other. In case you didn't notice the protests against LGBT teaching in school are getting nowhere... they're being forced further and further away from the school and the school / government are not backing down on it. It *will* be part of the curriculum.
The foundation of democracy may be free speech, but we're not really a democracy, and free speech doesn't really exist (in fact, it's less present in countries that hold it dear as part of their constitution than those that have no written record of any right to free speech).
The foundation of hatred, racism, sexism, every other -ism, however, is prejudice and generalisation. Which you just did.
If you think you're not free to criticise, doubt and mock, then you're wrong. You just did all three. If you think you're free to offend or prejudge, then you're wrong. In fact, that's exactly, smack bang on the border of "Free speech doesn't cover that, and never can".
Right, no, of course he wasn't calling nazis 'fine people': he was calling people who just march with nazis. Not the people waving swastikas, who obviously were not 'fine people', but the people marching alongside them. Now you see, here's a thing: if you find yourself in a march where people are waving swastikas and chanting antisemitic slogans, you leave the fucking march, and if you don't, well, there's a word for what you are.
Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.
It does, but it certainly shouldn't. More often than not it is a completely different common factor that is the real cause. But that does not stop politicians and special interest groups claiming that it proves that the one thing is responsible for the other.
At most, correlation suggest that further investigation is required to determine the cause of the correlation.
Statistically it can be shown that people who own expensive cars are likely to live longer than people who own old bangers or no car at all.
My statistics lecturer (I went to a university in a seaside town) used actual data to draw a lovely graph of ice cream sales against drownings. Did loads of statistics on the data to show a very highly significant correlation, but there was obviously no causal relationship. No amount of statistics using just those sets of data would elucidate a causal relationship of course, and that was their point.
Depends entirely on what you mean by "causal relationship".
You can easily construct the hypothesis that nice weather causes increses in both, and that there is a common cause between the two things. You could then do further studies to test this hyposthesis.
A better example would be the correlation between the decline in pirates and global warming.
I use the term "causal relationship" in the sense that it is used by just about everyone in science, engineering, etc
A causal relation between two events exists if the occurrence of the first causes the other.
The first event is called the cause and the second event is called the effect. Correlation between two events, variables or other measures does not imply causation. However the reverse is not true: if there is a causal relationship between two variables, they must ipso facto be correlated.
The very point of the example given was that as there is a correlation between drownings and ice cream sales, then the two events may both have causal relationships with a third event or variable. This same example set of data provided a whole year's worth of lectures, believe me! You start bringing in other data which may or may not be causally related, and you look for co-variance. This is all what these "AIs" like Watson do - look through massive data sets trying to identify co-variant relationships between stuff. You look at the dates on which these data were recorded. You plot them out on a timeline and see that both variables have some hint of a periodic cycle. The most obvious cycle is annual, so you look at "day of year" and find there's some correlation, some evidence of co-variance, but it's not staggeringly significant; it doesn't explain all the variance. You try it by month, and you get a much better figure. You try it by week of year and the correlation drops. You then correct for the day of the week by synthesising a value like first Saturday of Month n, second Friday of Month n. You then start lumping... Fridays in July, Saturdays in August...
This starts explaining the variance.
You then do something radical and expand your data set. You look at total visitor numbers, if such a figure exists. Damn, no-one was sat on the top of the Tower with a pair of binoculars counting people on the beach and people in the sea... so you take a proxy measure... the guy with the hand clicker at the piers turnstile. Woah! There's some kind of correlation there... But it doesn't explain everything still. So you look at the weather record, and you find there's a 99.999% explanation for ice cream sales linked to sunshine and high temperatures. But that only explains 87% of the drownings, but extreme BAD weather can explain another 12% of those.
So eventually you reach a point where you have all these correlations, and you are fairly certain that ice cream sales and drownings increase when the weather is fine and hot, when there are more people visiting the seaside, when it's a weekend, but that ice cream sales and drownings are negatively correlated when the weather is poor.
None of this actually gives any proof whatsoever for causality. It's reasonable to say that good weekend weather in the summer causes people to buy ice creams and to swim in the sea, and that swimming in the sea is the cause of some drownings. But there's still no proof. You'd have to conduct a controlled experiment to do that. You'd have to vary ice cream sales and monitor drownings in three different places or at three different times - one you leave as is, one you give away ice cream, the other you close the ice cream shop. You change one variable and see if the other changes.
Lo! Changing the amount of ice cream consumption on the coast does not affect the number of drownings. There is no causal relationship.
What experiment could you do to test the other correlations? I suppose you could ban swimming, close the beaches. Then visitor numbers could vary and the drownings wouldn't follow. Or force people into the sea - drownings go up. That just proves the causal link between swimming and drowning.
Another idea would be to see if this is a special case for this town, or a general case for all seaside town in the UK, Europe, Worldwide...
Or you could just accept that you cannot prove causality, but you have a credible explanation for causality, which is enough for a working hypothesis, but one must be open to evidence countering that explanation.
Exactly the same with Social Media and Crime with Racial Aggravation. One does not necessarily cause the other, and the only way to PROVE that one way or the other is to manipulate the Social Media feeds and observe the outcome. Now, as if ANY company with any shred of socially responsibility would undertake such an unethical experiment...
Since the model, as someone else pointed out, was selectively targeting white people, and not all races, then there is no way to determine cause and effect. How do you know that racist tweets arent a consequence of anti-white racism by the (apparently) unchecked prior racism of non whites ?
and dont try and tell me non white people arent racist too.....David Lammy, Diane Abbott.........
Its a load of politically correct cultural marxist bollox by people desperate to hang onto a UN, EU or Govt supplied grant. Its Tobacco Industry Science but not as credible.
Bloody hell. Did you bother to read the paper? Or anything? I just spent half a page explaining why you can't prove or even hint at causality with this kind of study. They never claimed any form of causality. The researchers are from NYU. The paper is only submitted, not accepted and hasn't been peer reviewed yet. It was presented at a conference. The funding hasn't been revealed (it should, and if I were reviewing it I would insist that section be included separately to the acknowledgments, as is common in Europe), there's no way to tell the colour of someone creating the tweets in their methodology, they do correct for racial make up of the areas, but that in itself could be a flaw.
You come along and try to explain the result with straw man examples, apparently just so you can string together a load of words you've seen lying around in the comments section of the Daily Mail. Honestly, I thought El Reg was better than that. Well, I guess they are, you can say generally what you like in the commentard sections. But equally if you're going to act like a tit there, expect to be called out for it.
Might indicate that it is worth considering the originators of the racist comments may be directly linked to the perpetrators of racist acts.
In a population that has high numbers of racist comments on-line it seems likely some of them will be putting their money where their mouths are.
I think we have less of a problem that such comments spur racist acts than that these populations have higher incidence of racism.
The article gives the impression that more control over comments (censorship) is necessary something that inflames and stirs up hatred more.
Correlation might be considered inevitable. If a place has serious racial tensions - for whatever reason - that will generate both more racist tweets and more racist crimes than a place where everyone lives in perfect harmony.
Doesn't mean it's the same people. Just the same underlying tensions.
We certainly don’t need to fall into the post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy but the correlation does tell us something. The rise in racist comments alongside the rise in racist attacks are likely effects of a rise in racist attitudes.
Now that rise can likely be attributed to a number of causes, but headlines in the press, divisive speeches by politicians and government sponsored adverts telling those with a less than pink complexion to “go home” are among the likely causes.
You need to look very carefully at the all the figures before you even start to think about this stuff. And it can almost be assumed that any study reported in the press will be badly (or more likely deliberately misleadingly) reported.
For example the UK press have had a field day for the last year reporting startling rises in crime. Of various types, and of course what they choose to report and what spin they put on it are very much linked to their editorial line.
Almost all of these stories are based on the fact that the police had been told to report more crimes. The Office for National Statistics doesn't actually rate the police's own figures as a reliable statistic, because they're so slapdash about what they report. So relies for proper crime figures on the National Crime Survey - which regularly asks large numbers of people whether they've experienced crime in the last 12 months. Whereas the police often have an incentive to under-report crimes. This survey data almost never correlates with police data, except in the case of rarer and more important crimes, like murder.
So police reported crime numbers have shot up for certain crimes in the last year, and each time its either reported by the Guardian as "falling police numbers causes rise in crime" or the Mail as "young people of today worse than ever, crime rises, house prices fall!"
When general crime levels have been falling for 30 years. But this year has been particularly bad, due to the government trying to get the police reports to be more accurate.
The causality is there. Humans are very much a "monkey see, monkey do" animal and whilst one person might limit their racist out pourings to Twatter, another person will see those Twatter comments and want a more physical way of expressing their intolerance. Hearing/seeing racism repeated frequently makes people accept it (it's also why companies run the same ads for year after year), and makes casual racism far more likely, so I can't think of a reason why a more racist environment wouldn't lead to more racist violence.
As a white anglo-saxon who suffered racism (both verbal and physical) at the hands of white vikings for 2 years of his youth, I have fought it the rest of my life. As a white anglo-saxon who is stuck in Brexit Britain, I am simultaneously angry at and ashamed of my genetic tribe.
I think it is pretty obvious that all this proves is that in areas where there is more racism, you will have people both saying racist things and doing racist things. In some cases perhaps the same people, but there are a lot of people who are only brave behind the keyboard, and likewise some smart enough not to wave red flags to help cops find them when they do things that could put them in prison for years.
Where something was posted from on Twitter is TOTALLY irrelevant to what happens in that area, unless Twitter has a "see tweets from people who live near me" option that's popular. If I made a tweet and it said it was from the city I live in, how would people in the city who don't know me and therefore would never see my tweets be influenced by what I said?
If they took a random city with this tweet to deed correlation and booted all the racist tweeters off Twitter I doubt it would influence that city's rate of hate crimes at all. Some people might be motivated to commit racist acts by reading/hearing racist things, but a tweet from New Zealand would work just as well to trigger them as a tweet from across town.
Montpellier is 19th lowest in terms of racist crimes, but fifth in number of racist tweets.
IIRC, Idaho is the US state described by white supremacists as being the most suitable state to be given to them as a whites-only homeland because it is already 97% white*. It sounds like there a lot of frustrated racists already there unable to properly let off steam, tweeting away their hatred but with hardly anyone around to beat up.
*See, they're not that bad after all. They only want to drive out a mere 3% of the population. Come on, Hitler chucked out more people than that, so you can't complain, right?
Why don't they buy an island and create their own nation? Then they don't have to boot anyone out and the rest of the world won't have to deal with them. Heck I'll contribute to help buy them an island just to see them off!
I think that would be great, because I'd love to see how quickly they'd start turning on each other and being racist against those who aren't blond with blue eyes, or deciding gingers aren't properly white, etc.
BTW, Montpelier is in Vermont, not Idaho...
'Castleton reported the lowest number of racially motivated hate crimes, but ranked 17th in posting the highest proportion of racist tweets.'
This may have something to do with a lack of targets, as Vermont is pretty much the whitest state in the country (there are a number of contenders, but I think Vermont has them all beat).
Also, knowing what Castleton VT is like, your entertainment is going to consist of either cow-tipping or racist Tweets.
In actuality, VT used to be a much more polite state until the Ben & Jerry's crowd came in and turned it into "New York North". It's why I no longer want to move back there.
One question I'm not seeing answered after reading the paper, or maybe I missed it, is "Often there casual racism in social media". Many whites as well as blacks use the "N" word which probably comes from popular culture like using the word "homie". So how much of that is actually racist rants? Two friends (maybe "friends" isn't the right word) who have a fight and call each other a racial term even when not fighting, would that be included as hate speech?
As disclaimer, I'm in a small town on the west coast and the natives basically hate everyone who's not a conservative white. I, like many others here, are transplants.
I think you missed it. There were key words, like the N* word, that had to be used in conjunction with some other defined negative word list (e.g. f*ing N*s) in order to count as a certain hit. They recognised the bi-partisan nature of some language. Machines, you see, are still f*ing stupid. Oooh! I'm being all "AI-ist" now.
Define racism: No seriously because I see people everyday getting away with it because Muh Minorities.
Sadiq Khan says racist things all week long but as long as it's toward a certain group it's not a hate crime.
Hate Crimes are also a joke, all crime is hateful, but calling them Hate Crimes just politicizes them.
No one will care about your hurt feeling after London goes further down.
The outliers explained. There are very few local targets. Exactly what I expected.
Population in 2010: 4,717.
White alone 96.9% 4,572
Population in 2014: 2,536 (0% urban, 100% rural).
White alone 93.8% 2,436
Anyone who doesn’t respect that race is tied to nation, validates the separation of their own race from their own indigenous nation, past, present and future.
Those who founded the US intended to spread this disorder from the new world to the old world from the outset, to undermine all nations and convert the world into individualised private property.
Racial heritage based on past migration is the only objective human trait that defines a nation. Culture, ideology and values are not confined to borders, not owned by anyone, and cannot be foisted upon an entire national people without infringing on liberty. Change the racial makeup of a nation and it ceases to be the same nation. This is not to justify so-called “hate”, but to explain why foisting unnatural values as unnatural laws results in increased reaction to those values.
As a member if the human race that migrated from Africa, with Anglo-Saxon culture, living in East Asia, I think we're all one species. Nations are an artificial construct, and prejudice, especially prejudice based on superficial visible features, is unjustifiable.
Racial heritage based on past migration is the only objective human trait that defines a nation.
Change the racial makeup of a nation and it ceases to be the same nation.
Hummm, that must be then why the human
locust species has a tendency to eradicate the original inhabitants before calling the new territory their "home nation" (US, Australia, South America, New Zealand, you probably can come up with more...), (re)confirmation guaranteed continuously by "bravely flying flags" and "patriotic national hymns" to which you should listen "hand on heart"...
New Zealand settlers did not eradicate the original inhabitants, nor did they attempt to. On the contrary, they happily sold weapons to them and intermarried. About a sixth of the population are of Maori descent and the proportion is steadily rising. According to the official figures, the Maori population remained stable for about sixty years after serious British settlement began and then started moderately rapid growth, which has continued uninterrupted. I make no comment on other counties, but you are dead wrong about this one.
I think you kind of prove my point, being triggered immediately by the "nationality", or "flag flying" aspect of the comment, without considering the larger context of the remark. We could have a very, very long and interesting discussion about a lot of (relevant or not) details. We can discuss whether killing people, or just taking everything they have, most likely rooted on a principle of race-superiority, (new Zealand land confiscations, New Zealand Settlements Act 1863), is better or worse than just killing them all so you're sure you get what you want. But it wasn't what the remark was about...
Actually, I'm not so much interested in what happened in the past. Really. Or perhaps better, I'm only interested whether humans learn something from their own past (behaviour) and use it to make their future truly better***. But there many seem to fail miserably. And although "...so that we do not forget..." seems to be a phrase that is misused more and more because it's a great (political) marketing sound byte, and works perfectly with laying a wreath at regular intervals in front of the world press, it turns out that on a base level humans don't change that much, don't learn that much. Just look at the "us" and "them" environment right now in the world, and I think you will understand where my original comment came from...
(And yes, been to your corner of the world, and it is indeed a magical place ☺).
*** I do realise the danger of the use of the word "better" and the zillion ways to interpret it. Please allow me that one.
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