How Anti-Asian Activity Online Set the Stage for Real-World Violence
Negative Asian-American tropes have long existed online but began increasing last March as parts of the United States went into lockdown over the coronavirus. That month, politicians including Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican of California, used the terms “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus” to refer to Covid-19 in their tweets. Those terms then began trending online, according to a study from the University of California, Berkeley. On the day Mr. Gosar posted his tweet, usage of the term “Chinese virus” jumped 650 percent on Twitter; a day later there was an 800 percent increase in their usage in conservative news articles, the study found. Mr. In a study this week from the University of California, San Francisco, researchers who examined 700,000 tweets before and after Mr. Representatives for Mr. Misinformation linking the coronavirus to anti-Asian beliefs also rose last year.
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