This study examines the ideological perceptions of Taiwan Mandarin by Chinese Mainlanders through ‘distant reading’: understanding patterns in discourse not by studying particular texts, but by aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of online data. Using textual passages scraped from online forums, we identify which key qualifiers (e.g. babyish, soft, and polite) associated with comments about gangtai qiang and Taiwanese TV shows. To further contextualize these key qualifiers, we construct a ‘lexical network’ with links between words or phrases that co-occur in our dataset. All the online data were collected and analyzed by Python. The technique produces network diagrams that allow the user to visualize and investigate recurring patterns in speech. The network visualization is a tool to summarize large quantities of text and aid qualitative analysis.