A website calling itself a "social mirror" has found 2.5 million uses of the word "faggot" on Twitter since it started counting in early July.
Gay slurs are prevalent, as evidenced by a daily counter on the home page of NoHomophones.com. Since July 5, the site found nearly 900,000 tweets with the phrase "So Gay" and another 800,000 instances of "No Homo." The slur "dyke" wasn't far behind with about 350,000.
The website comes from the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services.
"We never imagined the scale of casual homophobia that actually exists on social media," said Kristopher Wells, associate director for the institute. "The use of homophobic language remains one of the few socially acceptable forms of discrimination in our society and make no mistake, leads to isolation, bullying, beatings, and tragically youth suicide."
The site breaks down statistics by week. And from September 20 through September 26, the word "faggot" was in 218,946 tweets.
Here's a sample of some of the tweets the site found today alone. Someone retweeted a comment, "My math teachers a faggot." Then there was an insult, "hope u get lice faggot." Another appeared to try to reclaim the word: "I'm a faggot. Lol."