Journalist searching for racist comments on Twitter shocked to find racist comments on Twitter

“I was disgusted,” she said. “The fact that people could say the awful things that I searched for…”

Janet Legendre, a reporter with HuffPost Québec, was sitting at home, watching a scene on television involving a black actor. It was somewhat controversial, but never would she have imagined that, by merely putting racist words into a search engine, she could find exactly what she was looking for on the worldwide microblogging site.

For obvious reasons, I won’t use the words here, but they were awful. Words that nobody would consider acceptable in civilized society. Deliberately hurtful words.

“They were words I didn’t think people used anymore until I searched the Internet for them figuring people were using them.”

Legendre said she was proud of her investigative journalism work. “Those quotes were really hard to find,” she said. “Some of them required some interpretation to be considered so shockingly racist. Others sounded like they might have been said sarcastically or unseriously or just for shock value. But through hours of searching I found three Twitter comments and that was enough to make a gallery.”

The 14, 15 and 17-year-old boys who made the Twitter posts (since deleted) did not respond to requests for comments.

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