This Machine Stops Fascists*

by @edent | # # # #

There has been much discussion recently as to whether the BNP are becoming more acceptable to mainstream voters. Are people really happy to let the world know that they support the BNP and their policies?  Will they publicly show their allegiance on a social networking site like twitter?

Do you know how many of your twitter friends are racists? There are two ways to tell:

  1. Directly. You see them saying something racist. In which case, I’d hope you either call them on it or you block them.
  2. Indirectly. By looking at who they follow.

To facilitate (2) I’ve created a quick tool to tell if your twitter pals are racist.

The site simply tells you how many of your friends and your followers also follow a racist political party. At the moment, it only looks at the British National Party. I’ll also be including other racist, homophobic and fascist parties as I find them.

Naturally, this is a fairly blunt instrument – there are many reasons why a person my want to follow a racist party. They could be watching them like a hawk, want a laugh at their expense or may just be following back everyone who follows them.  The tool can’t tell intent – only action.

Of course, on the flip side, you may wish to use this technology to find which of your friends are feminists, Marxists, PNACists, or whichever group you dislike. Technology is morally neutral – it’s what you decide to do with it that counts.

Many thanks to twitter for lifting their API limits for this project.

*Which is a deliberate misquote of Woody Guthrie. Because killing is never good.

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