Cursing in English on Twitter

TitleCursing in English on Twitter
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWenbo Wang, Lu Chen, Krishnaprasad Thirunarayan, Amit Sheth
Conference NameACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2014)
Conference LocationNew York, NY
ISSN Number978-1-4503-2540-0
KeywordsCursing, Emotion, Gender Difference, Profanity, Social Media, twitter

Cursing is not uncommon during conversations in the physical world: 0.5% to 0.7% of all the words we speak are curse words, given that 1% of all the words are first-person plural pronouns (e.g., we, us, our). On social media, people can instantly chat with friends without face-to-face interaction, usually in a more public fashion and broadly disseminated through highly connected social network. Will these distinctive features of social media lead to a change in people’s cursing behavior? In this paper, we examine the characteristics of cursing activity on a popular social media platform – Twitter, involving the analysis of 51 million tweets and about 14 million users. In particular, we explore a set of questions that have been recognized as crucial for understanding cursing in offline communications by prior studies, including the ubiq uity, utility, and contextual dependencies of cursing.

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