Twitter's swearing mapped: Which UK country is the most foul-mouthed on social media?

We collected more than 5,000 geotagged tweets to see who were the worst offenders

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The Independent Tech

It's no secret that Twitter can be a hotbed of abuse and foul language. Studies have even been completed into the social network's swearing habits, with linguist Jack Grieve publishes maps showing the popularity of swear words by US state on the site. 

Evidently, the UK is no exception when it comes to Twitter and bad language, with our research showing the Welsh are the worst offenders. In a week where people have taken their social media to show anger over the handling of the Welfare Bill, the Welsh have been the most foul-mouthed on social media, swearing more than twice as much as England.

The Independent collected more than 5,000 geolocated tweets from this week containing the same swear words used by Grieve – the full list of which can be seen on his Twitter profile. An analysis of the tweets revealed that people in Wales have tweeted the most swears per million population at 127.

Just behind Wales was Scotland with 123. The UK country who swore the least this week was Northern Ireland, with 24.

Tweets with swear words in the UK by country per million population

Click on each section of the map below to see the number of swears per million for each country.

 

The number of swears per country was calculated against the population of each to control variation made by population difference.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, f**k was the most common with 1888 tweets containing the word in total, followed by s**t with 1557.

The UK’s bad language on Twitter has been regularly analysed over the last few years. Researchers from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the University College London last year revealed a particular peak around transfer-deadline day following Arsenal’s signing of Danny Welbeck, a Manchester United forward, in September.

“Twitter has a reputation for being really the home of angry, aggressive messages that people send each other,” said Dr Hannah Fry, one of the researchers to the BBC.

"I think it says something a little more positive perhaps about how aggressive or civil we can be to one another."

As for Mr Grieve though, his analysis appears to be just for fun as he has no plans to create a full academic study off the back of his popular tweets.