By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new website is monitoring the number of times homophobic language is being used in the Twittersphere.
The website, nohomophobes.com, was created by the University of Alberta, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. It’s counting four common derogatory words used to describe homosexuals including “nohomo” and “gay.”
The university’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services says the site is a social mirror of what is happening in casual language on social media. Doctor Carolyn Marvin of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication viewed the site.
“To me, the most interesting thing about it was watching the terms unroll in real time,” Marvin says. “I think that’s probably one of the most interesting things about the site, is for people to see, Oh My! This is going on right at this moment.”
She says some of the words were used in a derogatory manner and some were not.
“Generally speaking, this is a constructive thing for people to be doing,” she says. “And I’m glad that it’s available for people to try and understand something about our cultural use of language, and it helps open up the discussion about the use of these terms and the kinds of harmful effects it can cause.”
The University of Alberta says the use of homophobic language only serves to hurt and isolate sexual minority students.
The website has been in operation since July, but didn’t go public until late September.