HOW sexist are your tweets?
Singer Justin Bieber, US president Barack Obama and One Direction’s Harry Styles have all been found guilty of favouring their own sex on Twitter, according to a new tool created to measure gender bias on the social network.
Twee-q.com trawls through a user’s 100 most recent re-Tweets and measures the amount of times a user has re-posted comments from men and women, giving people a “Twitter Equality Quotient” score out of 10.
The lower the score, the bigger the person’s gender bias.
Bieber, who has 38 million followers, has re-Tweeted 72% men and 28% women, giving him a Twee-Q rating of 3.8.
President Obama, who has 31 million followers, has re-Tweeted 87% men and 13% women, giving him the low score of 1.6.
Harry Styles has scored a far more favourable Twee-Q of 7.8, but the comments he has chosen to re-Tweet are still in favour of his own sex, as 56% of his re-posted Tweets are from men.
Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres are more balanced in their re-Tweets, though they both still favour women’s voices over men’s, at 55% and 62% respectively.
Twee-Q, which first went live in Sweden last summer, determines people’s gender by identifying usernames from lists of given names recorded in US and Swedish censuses.
The tool, devised by creative agency Deportivo, has launched in the UK as a joint project between author Joan Smith and Swedish equal opportunities campaigning organisation Crossing Boarders, to mark the publication of Smith’s book, The Public Woman.
Smith claims the tool backs up her argument that although women appear to have more freedom, misogyny has simply taken on a new form.
“I know many women who are hesitant to use Twitter, either because they aren’t confident about expressing their views of fear a hostile reaction,” she said.
“I don’t think men have the same hesitation, which means their voices are louder and more frequently expressed.”
Smith said the tool reflected the fact that the “centres of power, including parliament and business, remained heavily male-dominated”. Her book sets out what “women are up against” in society, the media and politics, and includes her own Declaration of the Rights of Women.
Smith called the Twee-Q tool a thought-provoking experiment and said she hoped it would encourage women to have more confidence to use Twitter as a vehicle for political opinions.