Post 6 by Zhengzhi Chen
Besides scanning through news, reading scholarly articles, mind-mapping, searching for meaningful visuals, looking at design projects and interview someone, another way of gaining knowledge and information about an issue is data scraping. Data scraping is also the most high-tech method among these researching methods, and a considerably useful one in our future career.
At the outset of my data scraping research, I simply used Twitter Archiver in Google Sheets and created a search rule about ‘LGBT’. The result was not satisfactory so I decided to use a mind-map to summarise all the key words related to LGBTIQ featured in my research so far, including the articles, the images, the design and the interview. The interesting keywords I discovered are: ‘gay PDA’ (public display of affection), ‘vulnerable masculinity’, ‘against the nature’, ‘religion’ (its impact on LGBTIQ issues), ‘binary sexual identity’ and ‘internalised homophobia’. So I decided to try these keywords on Twitter Archiver, Twitter Sentiment Visualization and Brand 24. Twitter Archiver allows users to create a data set of all the relevant tweets to a search in an Excel format. Twitter Sentiment Visualisation provides a series of visual analyses on the sentiment of all the tweets in the past 10 days related to the keyword. Brand 24 enables professional analysis on a certain topic covered in a various of social media.
#gayPDA (Gay Public Display of Affection)
I created a search rule about ‘gay PDA’ in Twitter Archiver and found 103 tweets. The following four charts were created via Twitter Sentiment Visualization about 74 tweets posted in the past 10 days related to ‘gay PDA’:
In the Sentiment chart, it is easy to see that pleasant sentiment rules over unpleasant sentiment. In the Tag Cloud chart, it is discovered that the negative comments related to gay PDA include ‘uncomfortable’, ‘illness’ and ‘weird’. The following is the infographic of the topic ‘gay PDA’ covered in various social media platforms in the last three months created via Brand 24:
From the research results created by the above three tools, two hot topics were discovered related to gay PDA. One is this following Google+ post:
In this post, G Boyd promotes his point of view on non-binary and asexual kids, transsexuals and gay PDA. It proves that there are still some positive voices out there about the sensitive trans issue and gay PDA. It is presented in an informal way, though. The fact that he began a totally politically correct message with ‘no offense’ ironically reflects that LGBTIQ issues are still sensitive for quite a large population even in this second decade of the 21st Century.
The other hot topic is a popular tweet with a link to You Being Uncomfortable With Gay PDA Isn’t My Problem, an article written by Michael Lee (2016) on Elite Daily about his personal experience about gay PDA. Even Lee believes that his PDA with his boyfriend should not be judged by strangers, he still admits that gay PDA is still considered inappropriate by some people, especially the ones with lower levels of education.
After scraping data about gay PDA, I discovered that LGBTIQ was still quite an issue, which totally crushed my previous belief before conducting any research that the majority of the population had a positive attitude towards LGBTIQ. The data scraping also reinforced the importance of education in dealing with LGBTIQ issues.
#fag (Use of Homophobic Language)
No Homophobes Dot Com is dedicated to showcase the reality of homophobia, by visually presenting the numbers of tweets featuring ‘faggot’, ‘no homo’, ‘so gay’ and ‘dyke’ since 5 July 2012. Even though an apparent decline can be witnessed in the chart, the use of these offensive words is still not seldom enough to be ignored.
Inspired by No Homophobes Dot Com, I created a search rule about ‘fag’ in Twitter Archiver and found 12,095 tweets. The following is the infographic of the topic ‘fag’ covered in various social media platforms in the last 30 days created via Brand 24:
An interesting discovery about ‘fag’ is that there are more photo posts than Twitter posts. The following Instagram post is one of the search results because it has some comments with ‘fag’ in them:
The post is clearly a screenshot of a Tumblr post and the message in the Tumblr post is quite inspirational. As learned a few times from previous research, education is really important when it comes to the elimination of discrimination towards LGBTIQ. To force someone to think about why they think of certain things in a certain way is such a smart way of education of breaking outdated notions. Another interesting post I found through this research is the following:
The above screenshot shows a tweet posted by Jesse, who is boy into wearing make-up. In the post, he lists out several homophobic comments he receives on a daily base. It reveals a major issue of the present society, i.e. the fixed notion of binary sexual identity. Like sexual orientation, sexual identity is a spectrum and different people fall into different parts of the spectrum, so the notion that someone’s gender is either male or female is totally outdated.
Vulnerable masculinity is the masculinity that is too afraid to show vulnerability. I created a search rule about ‘vulnerable masculinity’ in Twitter Archiver and found nothing. The above infographic is of the topic ‘vulnerable masculinity’ covered in various social media platforms in the last 7 days created via Brand 24. The following is the Tag Cloud chart of ‘vulnerable masculinity’ created via Twitter Sentiment Visualization:
With the help of Brand 24 and Twitter Sentiment Visualization, I learned that the sentiment towards vulnerable masculinity on social media was more positive than negative, and that the key words associated with it included ‘toxic’, ‘depression’, ‘ashamed’, #manup and #CSAQT.
#CSAQT stands for child sex abuse question time and it is a Twitter chat forum aimed at adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. One interesting comment about #CSAQT is made by Captain Janeway in her retweet of another person’s tweet:
The victims of child sex abuse are not only female, and what makes it harder for the male victims to speak out or to seek help is the toxic masculinity created by the social construct of masculinity. This topic was covered in one image in my Post 3. In the traditional Western gender notion, femininity is considered weak while masculinity considered strong, so males are often pressured by the society to hide their vulnerability. Hiding emotions and building up grudges will lead to unhealthy mental state, which is basically common sense in the modern society. Therefore, there is no question that toxic masculinity can lead to mentally unhealthy male population.
- Public display of gay affection is still a sensitive topic for a considerable proportion of the population. The majority of same-sex couples choose not to show PDA due to fear of verbal homophobic bullying.
- To force someone to think about why they think of certain things in a certain way is a smart way to make people realise the flaws in the conventions that they have never questioned before. That can be applied to education of LGBTIQ.
- Sexual identity is a spectrum and there is a need to education the population about the flaws of binary sexual identity.
- The victims of child sex abuse are not only female, and what makes it harder for the male victims to speak out or to seek help is the toxic masculinity created by the social construct of masculinity.
- The fear of showing vulnerability is still an issue for quite a large proportion of the male population. For the sake of their own mental health, men need to know they are allowed to cry.
Brand 24 2016a, Fag Buzz, viewed 26 August 2016, <https://brand24.com/panel/infograph/sid/32325875/d1/2016-09-03/d2/2016-10-03/dr/4/va/1/cdt/days/or/0/p/1/ >.
Brand 24 2016b, Gay PDA Buzz, viewed 30 August 2016, <https://brand24.com/panel/infograph/sid/32496346/d1/2016-07-05/d2/2016-10-03/dr/5/va/1/cdt/days/or/0/ssc/1/sis/1/p/1/ >.
Brand 24 2016c, Vulnerable Masculinity Buzz, viewed 31 August 2016, <https://brand24.com/panel/infograph/sid/32300031/d1/2016-09-27/d2/2016-10-04/dr/3/va/1/cdt/days/or/0/p/1/ >.
Captain Janeway 2016, ‘Yep, toxic masculinity dictates that men can’t be emotional, vulnerable or seek help, among a myriad other things. #CSAQT‘, Twitter post, 27 September, viewed 1 September 2016, <https://twitter.com/i/web/status/780463604084666369 >.
G Boyd 2016, ‘like no offense or anything but nonbinary and asexual kids are 100% valid, trans boys are real boys and trans girls are real girls and gay pda is not gross or offensive’, Google+ post, 29 July, viewed 29 August 2016, <https://plus.google.com/108185923989016312977/posts/9726x4mEXok >.
Gays of Thronez 2016, ‘Lately there’s been some hate in the comments on several LGBT community accounts. Mentioning there’s […]’, Instagram post, viewed 25 August 2016, <https://www.instagram.com/p/BLGdPzgDDQS/ >.
Jesse 2016, ‘“Wearing makeup is gay.” “You’re a faggot.” “You’re wearing too much makeup.” “brows are too dark.” “Makeup & facial hair isn’t cute.”’, Twitter post, 24 September, viewed 24 August 2016, <https://twitter.com/Jesse_Arreola/status/779469748979412992 >.
Lee, M. 2016, You Being Uncomfortable With Gay PDA Isn’t My Problem, Elite Daily, viewed 28 August 2016, <http://elitedaily.com/dating/pda-gay-couples-pride/1614360/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=dlvr.it >.
No Homophobes Dot Com 2016, July 5th, 2012 — 27 August, 2016, viewed 27 August 2016, <http://www.nohomophobes.com/#!/all-time/ >.