MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — After a turbulent beginning to July, which included the controversial deaths of Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of the police as well as the killings of five Dallas police officers during a protest by a rogue shooter, data analysts at Facebook reported that the past 10 days have been a “banner week or so” for racist family members and friends.
“Most of us have racist family members and all of us went to highschool with bigots, but, wow, were we really reminded of that last week. It was a big week for those guys.” said junior Facebook statistical analysis expert Robert Elnenny. “From a purely data driven point of view, we saw a huge increase in racially charged keywords, such as numerous derogatory terms and the hashtag #Trump2016.”
Elnenny also pointed out the suspicious correlation between those who posted derogatory terms and those who used the hashtag #RobotLivesMatter, following the Dallas Police Department’s use of a bomb robot to kill the Dallas shooter, after he engaged the police in a standoff.
“My uncle Randy posted #RobotLivesMatter on his Facebook right after he heard about the events in Dallas,” said 16 year-old Jackie Smith of Palo Alto. “My mom said that’s one of the reasons we don’t get him very good gifts during the holidays.”
Beyond questionable hashtags and derogatory terms, Elnenny reported a 3000% increase in the phrase, “I’m not a racist, but…” which is statistically proven to lead to a racist comment in almost 95% of cases.
“People said a lot of gross stuff,” said Elnenny. “But at least many of them got unfriended by family members and friends.”
Elnenny and other analysts predict that the spike in racially charged dialogue will likely linger for awhile among black and other minority Facebook users, but will certainly begin to decrease for white users.
“For those affected most by these tragedies, specifically black and minority individuals, they will continue to see this rhetoric online until these things stop happening all the time, but for those who live within predominantly white circles, it’s safe to assume that things will be back to Tasty quick recipe videos and cat memes soon enough.”
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