Most anti-gay language on Twitter originates from states in the Eastern United States.

A group of geography professors and their students going by the name Floating Sheep analyzed all geotagged tweets in North America between June 2012 and April 2013 to develop a heat map of hate.

“[W]e discovered 41,306 tweets containing the word 'nigger,' 95,123 referenced 'homo,' among other terms,” the group wrote in a blog post announcing their findings.

“Perhaps the most interesting concentration comes for references to 'wetback,' a slur meant to degrade Latino immigrants to the US by tying them to 'illegal' immigration. Ultimately, this term is used most in different areas of Texas, showing the state's centrality to debates about immigration in the US. But the areas with significant concentrations aren't necessarily that close to the border, and neither do other border states who feature prominently in debates about immigration contain significant concentrations.”

Keywords used to track anti-gay tweets include “dyke,” “homo,” “fag” and “queer.” Students at Humboldt State read and interpreted each tweet to determine if the given word was used in a positive, negative or neutral manner. Only explicitly negative tweets were included in the map.

While the analysis revealed pockets of anti-gay sentiment in northern California, eastern Washington, southwestern Idaho and along the New Mexico-Texas border, the bulk of the tweets originated from states east of the Mississippi.