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View Full Version : Racism in America, the Google Map verison....



BrianW
05-01-2015, 08:53 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/28/the-most-racist-places-in-america-according-to-google/

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2015/04/racism.png&w=1484


Where do America's most racist people live? "The rural Northeast and South," suggests a new study (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122963#pone.0122963.ref001) just published in PLOS ONE.


The paper introduces a novel but makes-tons-of-sense-when-you-think-about-it method for measuring the incidence of racist attitudes: Google search data (http://www.google.com/trends/). The methodology comes from data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. He's used it before to measure the effect of racist attitudes on Barack Obama's electoral prospects (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/how-racist-are-we-ask-google/).


[Data suggest Republicans have a race problem (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/14/data-suggest-republicans-have-a-race-problem/)]



"Google data, evidence suggests, are unlikely to suffer from major social censoring," Stephens-Davidowitz wrote in a previous paper (http://static1.squarespace.com/static/51d894bee4b01caf88ccb4f3/t/51d89ab3e4b05a25fc1f39d4/1373149875469/RacialAnimusAndVotingSethStephensDavidowitz.pdf). "Google searchers are online and likely alone, both of which make it easier to express socially taboo thoughts. Individuals, indeed, note that they are unusually forthcoming with Google." He also notes that the Google measure correlates strongly with other standard measures social science researchers have used to study racist attitudes.
This is important, because racism is a notoriously tricky thing to measure. Traditional survey methods don't really work (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/14/data-suggest-republicans-have-a-race-problem/) -- if you flat-out ask someone if they're racist, they will simply tell you no. That's partly because most racism in society today operates at the subconscious level (http://med.stanford.edu/diversity/FAQ_REDE.html), or gets vented anonymously online (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/racism-in-canada-finds-fertile-ground-online-1.2833043).


For the PLOS ONE paper, researchers looked at searches containing the N-word. People search frequently for it, roughly as often as searches for "migraine(s)," "economist," "sweater," "Daily Show," and "Lakers." (The authors attempted to control for variants of the N-word not necessarily intended as pejoratives, excluding the "a" version of the word that analysis revealed was often used "in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in '-er'.")


[An entrenched racial slur is now more prevalent than ever (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/11/09/the-n-word-an-entrenched-racial-slur-now-more-prevalent-than-ever/)]



It's also important to note that not all people searching for the N-word are motivated by racism, and that not all racists search for that word, either. But aggregated over several years and several million searches, the data give a pretty good approximation of where a particular type of racist attitude is the strongest...




So now I know why you eastern US guys are always talking about racism.

Get your collective acts together please. Look west for guidance.

Waddie
05-01-2015, 09:31 PM
BrianW; So now I know why you eastern US guys are always talking about racism.
Get your collective acts together please. Look west for guidance.

I don't see much of a response, and I doubt you'll get one. Things that make them uncomfortable with their delusions are usually ignored.

regards,
Waddie

Duncan Gibbs
05-01-2015, 09:38 PM
Devoid of context of use such a study is meaningless. If it were a large number of African Americans using the term (reclaiming it for themselves) then the results don't point to a larger incidence of racism in the higher count states.

Here's a couple of maps for the purpose of contrast/comparison:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg/1280px-Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg.png

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/31/84/66/31846693727e5a2717905d80f61f6dae.jpg

It ain't looking good for West Virginia! :p

Phillip Allen
05-01-2015, 09:42 PM
ah, yes... it's the old "who, ME?" reply :)

Phillip Allen
05-01-2015, 09:45 PM
well, well, well... Arkansas is looking pretty good... where are all those racists who called me a racist?

PeterSibley
05-01-2015, 09:51 PM
An excellent couple of maps Duncan, I wish I'd had access to them when I was at school studying the USA.

No wonder the USA was slow to go to war against Germany .... twice .

Reynard38
05-01-2015, 09:54 PM
What the heck is up with Rhode Island?

BrianW
05-01-2015, 10:07 PM
google search volume for the n word equals racism ?


Looks like a lot of those red areas are high African Amercian regions as well. Maybe they are the ones lighting up google N bombs

Other than that a huge region full of scotch irish ancestry type hillbilly rednecks :)

It appears the researchers took some steps to make it more specific...


(The authors attempted to control for variants of the N-word not necessarily intended as pejoratives, excluding the "a" version of the word that analysis revealed was often used "in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in '-er'.")

It's certainly an interesting way to gather data without taking a poll. Whether or not we accept it as valid is a good topic.

Duncan Gibbs
05-01-2015, 10:08 PM
ah, yes... it's the old "who, ME?" reply :)
Exactly! I don't live in the country! :p

I personally find the word ugly and revolting wherever it's used.

bobbys
05-01-2015, 10:19 PM
An excellent couple of maps Duncan, I wish I'd had access to them when I was at school studying the USA.

No wonder the USA was slow to go to war against Germany .... twice ..

One day we are war mongers gets ready to go to war at the drop of a hat, the next day too slow..

LOL

Breakaway
05-01-2015, 10:49 PM
So, racist people--people who don't like blacks--are surfing the web for info about blacks, the people they hate? Really?

I dont doubt the search data is accurate. But, how do we know its racists inserting the word into the search pane?

Kevin

PeterSibley
05-02-2015, 01:56 AM
.

One day we are war mongers gets ready to go to war at the drop of a hat, the next day too slow..



About right.

CK 17
05-02-2015, 04:56 AM
Not as scientific as the OP, but my personal experience is as follows: I first heard the word used in a derogatory statement by a white guy in NH, second in Kentucky and third in Arkansas ( by a woman in a derogatory statement).

A least these here are the three times I remember. I guess I've lead a pretty sheltered life.

George Jung
05-02-2015, 06:25 AM
The initial premise is faulty, a deficiency looking for absolution. The apologists are interesting, though.

Ian McColgin
05-02-2015, 06:35 AM
Initial premis faulty? Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has spent about a decade refining this sort of data mining statistical aggregation. As he points out, not all use of the word is racist and not all racists use the word on the internet, but based on other results, like checking the method against voting, the mass of millions of instances works out to being a good indicator. This is not unlike the problem people have wrapping their minds around the modern picture of an atom, not at all Rutherfordian with nice electron orbits, but more like a statistical cloud where the electron might be, if it's not in China. This sort of study has absolutely no predicitive value regarding any individual but is a correct picture of the mass.

George Jung
05-02-2015, 07:10 AM
Oh, really? So.... you NE's are the biggest racist pool in the US, eh?

Good to know.

John Smith
05-02-2015, 07:39 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/28/the-most-racist-places-in-america-according-to-google/

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2015/04/racism.png&w=1484




So now I know why you eastern US guys are always talking about racism.

Get your collective acts together please. Look west for guidance.

I happened to catch an interview with someone from one of those western states. He goes through his day and never sees anyone but white people.
Think there might be a connection?

oznabrag
05-02-2015, 08:21 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/28/the-most-racist-places-in-america-according-to-google/


(The authors attempted to control for variants of the N-word not necessarily intended as pejoratives, excluding the "a" version of the word that analysis revealed was often used "in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in '-er'.")


So now I know why you eastern US guys are always talking about racism.

Get your collective acts together please. Look west for guidance.

The "a" version of the word?

You mean 'niggard'?

That is a completely different word that is descended from a completely different language that has a completely different meaning that is completely unrelated to any reference to human genetics, and it is to be hoped that any reasonably educated US citizen would use "the "a" version of the word ... in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in '-er'."

Sorta invalidates the whole thing, as far as I'm concerned.

This is not to say that the map has no meaning, but to say that one grain of salt may not be enough.

Interesting that the OP is from a State presented as having 'No Data'.

Keith Wilson
05-02-2015, 08:33 AM
No, not 'niggard' but 'n!gga' or 'n!ggah', the same word in african-american dialect pronunciation. Might be a different thing. It's interesting data, as far as it goes. The differences are bigger than I thought, half a standard deviation or more. The original paper correlates it with shorter life expectancy for African Americans. (link to original paper (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122963#pone.0122963.ref001)). Three places jump out: the UP of Michigan, Rhode Island, and Michigan around Saginaw and Bay City. Also, there a red blob in Vermont, but I think it also includes Albany.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure/image?size=large&id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0122963.g001

Canoeyawl
05-02-2015, 10:40 AM
.

One day we are war mongers gets ready to go to war at the drop of a hat, the next day too slow..

LOL

Hardly a laughing matter, we used to wait until we were sure there was a just cause for killing our sons.

slug
05-02-2015, 11:24 AM
Who concieved this goofy survey ? A liberal special interest promoting white mans guilt ?

its junk.

In Spanish they dont use the N word, they use the M word.

bobbys
05-02-2015, 11:30 AM
An excellent couple of maps Duncan, I wish I'd had access to them when I was at school studying the USA.

No wonder the USA was slow to go to war against Germany .... twice ..

Well you are not going to have to worry about the US rushing to Australians defense.

Obama has thrown Israel under the bus , demanded England negotiate with Argentina.

As China sails around Australia with nuclear subs and ships you can sit back and ponder this.

bobbys
05-02-2015, 11:33 AM
Hardly a laughing matter, we used to wait until we were sure there was a just cause for killing our sons..

The LOL was in responce to the other post, One day we rush ,the other day too slow from the critics , But you knew what I meant.