An advertisement for the University of Albertaʼs Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services’s No to Homohphobes campaign asks why the word “faggot” can be so casually used in society.

The TV commercial bleeps over obviously unacceptable swearwords and other forms of abuse until a woman says “gay faggot”. The advert then asks “when will homophobic language be unacceptable too?”

Last year the campaign published Twitter tracking figures to show that the word “faggot” was used more than 2.5 million times between July and September 2012. In just one week, it was in 219,000 tweets.

Meanwhile, the phrase “So Gay,” was in 900,000 tweets, while another 800,000 had “No Homo.” The word “dyke” came across in 350,000 comments.

Dr Kristopher Wells, the University of Albertaʼs Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services associate director said: “We no longer tolerate racist language, weʼre getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we still see and hear homophobic and transphobic language in our society.

“While this language might not always be meant to be hurtful, we must not forget that words like ‘faggot’ contribute greatly to the continued alienation and isolation of sexual and gender (LGBTQ) people, especially our youth.”

He added: “The use of casual homophobia must end. We are all responsible to stop it. The lives of our youth, and the humanity of our society depends upon it.”

Yesterday, Facebook apologised for deleting a PinkNews post that contained the word ‘faggot’.

The story that PinkNews was promoting was about rapper Azealia Banks, who called blogger Perez Hilton a “messy faggot” and said that he should “kill himself”.