CONSIDERING HOW MANY people use Twitter on a daily basis, chances are you’ve come across people who swear on it quite a lot, but how often does it actually happen?
Four researchers from Wright State University decided to find out by analysing 51 million tweets, all of which were randomly collected, and about 14 million users on Twitter.
They found that despite it being a public forum, people swear a lot. Even more than they would in real-life.
To start off, it’s estimated that around 0.5 – 0.7 per cent of all the words we say are curse words. On Twitter, that rate was 1.15 per cent.
Explaining the reason why this was the case to Co.Exist , Wenbo Wang, a PhD research student who led the study, said that “because of social media, people don’t see each other. They can say things they wouldn’t say in the physical world.”
Predictably, angry tweets were most likely to contain cursing – 23.82 per cent of the angry tweets analysed had swears in them – while the majority of them happen at the start of the week.
When looking at which swear words were used the most, the seven most common words accounted for more than 90 per cent of all swearing done online.
(Note: The swear words in question have been edited out below for obvious reasons so you will either have to use your imagination, or look at the report itself.)
The research was carried out by members of Wright State University, who presented the findings at the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.
The findings will form part of a much larger research project relating to mental health, verbal abuse, online harassment and gender differences in online communications.