Twee-Q: The thought provoking experiment lifting the lid on your Twitter gender bias...
Twee-q.com trawls through a users’ 100 most recent re-Tweets and measures the amount of times a user has re-posted comments from men and women
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith is a freelance reporter. She was nominated for business journalist of the year at the Press Gazette British Journalism Awards 2012 and her name is so long that she has a double-decker byline in print.
Sunday 12 May 2013
How sexist are your tweets?
Justin Bieber, Barack Obama and Harry Styles have all been found guilty of favouring their own sex on Twitter, according to a new tool created to measure gender bias on the social network.
Twee-q.com trawls through a users’ 100 most recent re-Tweets and measures the amount of times a user has re-posted comments from men and women, giving people a ‘Twitter Equality Quotient’ score out of 10.
The lower the score, the bigger the person’s gender bias.
Bieber, who has 38m followers, has re-Tweeted 72% men and 28% women, giving him a Twee-Q rating of 3.8, while Barack Obama, who has 31m followers, has re-Tweeted 87% men and 13% women, giving him the low score of 1.6.
Harry Styles has scored a far more favourable Twee-Q of 7.8, but the comments he has chosen to re-Tweet are still in favour of his own sex, as 56% of his re-posted Tweets are from men.
Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres are more balanced in their re-Tweets, though they both still favour women’s voices over men’s, at 55% and 62% respectively.
Twee-Q, which first went live in Sweden last summer, determines people’s gender by identifying usernames from lists of given names recorded in US and Swedish censuses.
The tool, devised by creative agency Deportivo, has launched in the UK as a joint project between author Joan Smith and Swedish equal opportunities campaigning organisation Crossing Boarders, to mark the publication of Smith’s book, The Public Woman.
Smith claims the tool backs up her argument that although women appear to have more freedom, misogyny has simply taken on a new form.
“I know many women who are hesitant to use Twitter, either because they aren’t confident about expressing their views of fear a hostile reaction,” she said, adding: “I don’t think men have the same hesitation, which means their voices are louder and more frequently expressed.”
Smith said the tool reflects the fact that the “centres of power, including Parliament and business, remain heavily male-dominated”.
Her book sets out what “women are up against” in society, the media and politics, and includes her own Declaration of the Right’s of Women.
Smith called the Twee-Q tool a thought provoking experiment and said she hopes it will encourage women to have more confidence to use Twitter as a vehicle for political opinions.
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