Negative Asian-American herds have long existed online, but began to increase last March as parts of the United States of America were shut down due to the coronavirus. That month, politicians, including Representative Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, used the terms “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus” to refer to Covid-19 in their tweets.
These terms then began to trend online, according to a study of the University of California, Berkeley. On the day that Mr. Gosar posted his tweet, using the term “Chinese virus” rose 650 percent on Twitter; a day later, there was an 800 percent increase in conservative news articles, the study found.
Mr. Trump also posted on Twitter eight times last March about the “Chinese virus,” which is causing poisonous reactions. In the response section of one of his posts, a Trump supporter replied, “You caused the virus,” and the comment was directed at an Asian Twitter user who quoted U.S. death statistics for Covid-19. The Trump supporter added a joke about Asian people.
In a study this week from the University of California, San Francisco, researchers who investigation 700 000 tweets before and after the messages from mr. Trump in March 2020, found that people who posted the hashtag #chinesevirus were more likely to use racist hashtags, including #bateatingchinese.
“There has been a lot of discussion that ‘Chinese virus’ is not racist and that it can be used,” said Yulin Hswen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. But the term, she said, has changed into a “rally to gather and galvanize people who have these feelings, as well as to normalize racist beliefs.”
Representatives of Mr. Trump, mr. McCarthy and Mr. Gosar did not respond to requests for comment.
Incorrect information linking the coronavirus to anti-Asian beliefs also increased last year. Since March, nearly eight million anti-Asian speeches have been mentioned online, many of which are lies, according to Zignal Labs, a media insight firm.
- Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in the shooting at the massage parlor in Atlanta. The motives of the suspect are being investigated, but Asian communities across the United States are on standby due to an increase in attacks against Asian Americans in recent years.
- A stream of hatred and violence against Asian Americans in the US began last spring in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Community leaders believe the big talk is fueled by the rhetoric of former President Trump, who called the coronavirus a “China virus.”
- In New York, a spate of xenophobia and violence is exacerbated by the economic downturn of the pandemic, which has hit the Asian-American communities in New York a severe blow. Many community leaders believe that the authorities are ignoring racist assaults.
- In January, an 84-year-old man from Thailand was forcibly knocked to the ground in San Francisco, resulting in his death two days later in a hospital. The attack, which was captured on video, turned into a rally.
In an example, an April Fox News article that became baseless said that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan and was deliberately released. According to data from Zignal and CrowdTangle, a tool owned by Facebook to analyze social media, the article was shared more than one million times on Facebook and retweeted 78,800 times on Twitter.