Study on Spike in “Grooming” Terms on Twitter After Colorado Springs Tragedy
A new study released on November 28 by the Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University points to what hate speech on Twitter could look like following Elon Musk’s offer of “general amnesty” to suspended accounts on the platform.
Specifically, the study showed a dramatic spike in the use of the term “grooming” (a slur used against the LGBTQ+ community) on Twitter in the period after the shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 19-20. The full study can be found here.
FIFA World Cup Studies
Leading up to the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on November 20, our team from the Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University released separate studies surrounding the controversial tournament, one on boycotting and activism and another highlighting popular players, teams, brands and trends.
Twitter Hate Speech Study After Musk’s Acquisition
On October 29, 2022, our team from the Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University released a study on the increase in hate speech on Twitter in the hours immediately after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform, a transaction that created the perception by extremist users that content restrictions would be alleviated.
Highlights from the study from the School’s Center for Strategic Communication include:
- The seven-day average of Tweets using the studied hate terms prior to Musk’s acquisition was never higher than 84 times per hour.
- However, on October 28 from midnight to noon (immediately following Musk’s acquisition), the studied hate speech was Tweeted some 4,778 times.
- Terms studied included vulgar and hostile terms for individuals based on race, religion, ethnicity, and orientation.
- The potential impact of this hate speech (the potential number of times a term posted in Twitter could have been viewed) was more than 3 million.
- Elon Musk has promised to reduce restrictions on the platform and “free the bird.” From these results, this directive represents an obvious danger to young people using the platform.
- Platforms with lax or no moderation are frequently spaces filled with racism, homophobia, transphobia, and antisemitism.
- Recorded data indicating the spike in hate speech.
- The entire study can be found here: Montclair State SCM Study- Increases in Twitter Hate Speech After Elon Musk’s Acquisition
Pumpkin Spice Study
On September 29, 2022, our team from the Joetta Di Bella and Fred C. Sautter III Center for Strategic Communication in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University released research that found despite what the skeptics say, Americans still really love pumpkin spice and can’t get enough of pumpkin spice foods, beverages and products.
Combing through nearly 20,000 Twitter and Instagram posts from September 2022, the Montclair team of faculty and graduate student researchers discovered that 55% of posts containing “pumpkin spice” or the hashtag #pumpkinspice were positive in nature, 8% were negative and 37% were deemed neutral.There’s no sign of the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) love dying down, either. In fact, according to Google Trends, the popular fall flavor is on pace to create more internet activity this year than ever before.
The buzz around pumpkin spice initially peaked in 2017-18 and fell slightly as a trend in the following years. But current data suggests that this year is on pace to far surpass the 2017-18 peak, meaning the seasonal star is back. Big time.“The power of pumpkin and pumpkin spice are clear in the data,” said Jin-A Choi, assistant professor of Advertising at Montclair. “While many assume the topic is polarizing, the majority of the social media data we analyzed showed that America and a wide range of companies continue to want more pumpkin spice.”The trending topic has also prompted brands and businesses unrelated to the fall flavor to use the #pumpkinspice hashtag to sell or drive interest in their products – a phenomenon known as “trendjacking.” The upside? About 2% of evaluated trendjacking posts were linked to social causes, such as dog adoption shelters.