#Hashtagging hate: Using Twitter to track racism online


  • Irfan Chaudhry University of Alberta




Twitter, Race, Racism, Social media


This paper considers three different projects that have used Twitter to track racist language: 1) Racist Tweets in Canada (the author’s original work); 2) Anti-social media (a 2014 study by U.K. think tank DEMOS); and, 3) The Geography of Hate Map (created by researchers at Humboldt University) in order to showcase the ability to track racism online using Twitter. As each of these projects collected racist language on Twitter using very different methods, a discussion of each data collection method used as well as the strengths and challenges of each method is provided. More importantly, however, this paper highlights why Twitter is an important data collection tool for researchers interested in studying race and racism.

Author Biography

Irfan Chaudhry, University of Alberta

Irfan Chaudhry is currently a sessional instructor at MacEwan University, Department of Sociology and a PhD Candidate (provisional) with the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta.  Irfan’s research on racist tweets in Canada were highlighted in Avenue Magazines annual top 40 Edmontonian’s under the age of 40 list, where he was featured as one of the top 40 recipients in 2013.    Irfan received an MA in Criminal Justice at the University of Alberta (Department of Sociology).  




How to Cite

Chaudhry, I. (2015). #Hashtagging hate: Using Twitter to track racism online. First Monday, 20(2). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v20i2.5450