Abusive language targeting the transgender community in a Facebook post and comment section

Uploaded: 2021-12-01
Languages: English
Collected from: 2021-05
Access category: Restricted
To: 2021-05


This dataset consists of two elements collected from Facebook. Firstly, an anti-transgender article shared by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on their open access Facebook page. Secondly, a comment section in which users respond to the article using abusive and offensive language targeted towards the transgender community.

Subject keywords: Abusive language, Anti-transgender, Facebook, Social media
Data types: Written
Funders: N/A
Associated AIFL centres: Centre for Forensic Text Analysis (FTA), Forensic Linguistic Databank (FoLD)
License: Non-Commercial Government Licence for public sector information


The article was originally written by ADF for their website: It is 860 words in total. It was written in response to a CNN report on the topic of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). The article begins by outlining the contents of the CNN article as rationale for writing an anti-transgender article. The contents from the CNN article mentioned refer to masks making life easier for those who live with BDD, the high rates of suicide in BDD patients and the emphasis that people with BDD must receive treatment. The ADF article then makes an analogy between fixating on falsehoods about the perception of the body and what they call the “gender identity ideology”; it proceeds to compare aspects of being transgender with what they perceive as biological reality. During the entire article, the struggles that people endure with BDD and dysphoria are incorrectly compared with being transgender and used as justification for abusive language. This article was shared on the ADF Facebook page, and the post received a lot of attraction from Facebook users. At the time of collecting the data there were 102 comments, 464 shares, and 1.6 thousand reactions. The total word count for the comment section element is 2887 words. For ethical reasons, the user’s names were omitted and changed to ‘user’ followed by a number. The number of participants in the comment section amounts to 66 in total.

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Information: This dataset contains sensitive material or data that come from a third party and have some constraints on access and use. Users who wish to access this dataset must make a detailed application to FoLD and the researcher, as well as potentially gain additional agreement from an external organisation before they can be approved for access.

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