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2.4 million times since July 5: Website tracks number of times daily the word 'faggot' is tweeted

News release from nohomophobes.com:

nohomophobes

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Since July 5, 2012 “faggot” and variations of this word have been tweeted over 2.4 million times on Twitter. This number was announced today with the unveiling of a new website called nohomophobes.com by the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS).

The website, designed to serve as a “social mirror,” captures the homophobic language that exists in Twittersphere and counts tweets that use the terms: “Faggot” (2.4 million), “So Gay” (800,000 tweets), “No Homo” (800,000 tweets) and “Dyke” (300,000 tweets).

“We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media,” says Dr. Kristopher Wells, the Institute’s Associate Director. “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,” says Wells.

Homophobic language is still prevalent and can be heard everywhere in our society. Whether it is used directly as a weapon against sexual and gender minorities or passively as a pejorative term, the prevalence of “casual homophobia” persists. It continues to grow and reinforces a belief in our society that it’s okay to use this kind of discriminatory speech with friends, in school, at work, and in the locker room.

The site, which was launched today, will be supported by a variety of advertising tools including transit advertising, posters, and a television commercial.

“Our Faculty sees the impact of homophobic language and bullying first hand and educators everywhere should be committed to creating safer schools and communities for young people,” says Dr. Fern Snart, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. ”The use of homophobic language only serves to hurt, stereotype, and further isolate sexual minority students and we need to take a stand; ignoring such language is not an option.”

“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,” says Dr. Wells.

We encourage people to use the #nohomophobes hashtag when they see or experience casual homophobia on Twitter, and challenge their friends, colleagues, or family members who use it. It’s time to break the silence that surrounds homophobia in our society. We all have an important part to play.

Witness the live tweets here: www.nohomophobes.com

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