The nifty thing about building a successful web app is that it often throws off all sorts of cool things unrelated to its primary function. To wit: Foursquare, the location based social network that allows you to systematically stalk strangers and extort local businesses (just kidding) accumulates a massive amount of data related to the hundreds of millions of user checkins that occur each year. (400 million in 2010, to be precise.)
Now, as Foursquare engineer Matthew Rathbone details in an interesting blog post, the company has devised a way to run specific — and fun — queries against that data. First up? Identifying the city with the rudest citizens, as judged by how often a tip left in that city contains a curse word.
Five minutes later, et voilà! The rudest people in the world reside in Manchester, England — although the boors in El Paso, Texas are giving them a run for their money. In case you’re keeping score, seven cities in California, three cities in Florida, and two cities in Arizona make the cut. Astoundingly, New York landed only one: Staten Island.