How the Dallas police shooting upended #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter - Albuquerque Journal

How the Dallas police shooting upended #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter

DALLAS — The Dallas police shooting last month dramatically changed the nation’s online conversation about race, unearthing much more negativity against the #BlackLivesMatter movement, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

The study, released Monday, considered how social media users talk about race, analyzing the impact of major news events and exploring differences in the online experience of blacks and whites.

It found that as Americans increasingly turn to social media as a virtual town hall, online conversations can help propel racial issues into the national spotlight.

But it also found that the same disparities that occur elsewhere in life exist online: White experiences on social media are much different from those of people of color.

In the days before the July 7 police shooting, as the nation reacted to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, 87 percent of tweets mentioning #BlackLivesMatter were supportive of the cause.

Then shots rang out in Dallas about 9 p.m. July 7, and the tone shifted overnight.

From July 8 to July 17, support for #BlackLivesMatter dropped to just 28 percent of tweets. And 39 percent of tweets using the hashtag were critical, compared to just 11 percent in the previous time period.

Many negative tweets blamed #BlackLivesMatter for the attacks on police, and some referred to it as a terrorist organization, the study found.

On July 8, the hashtag #AllLivesMatter was used almost 190,000 times and #BlueLivesMatter was used nearly 140,000 times — a major uptick compared to previous months.

Tweets using those hashtags were mostly favorable, the study found, a stark contrast to the backlash against the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The study also found remarkable differences in how people use social media, depending on their race.

Black adults are nearly twice as likely as whites to say that most or some of the posts they see on social media are race-related. Hispanics fall somewhere in between.

Meanwhile, the study found, actively posting about race on social media is much more common among people of color.

About 28 percent of black social media users and 20 percent of Hispanics say at least some of what they share is about race relations. Just 8 percent of whites say the same.

Pew analyzed tweets from Jan. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and found a lively online discussion about race.

There were 995 million tweets about racial issues during those months and no single day had fewer than 1.5 million tweets about race.

The most active periods tended to come after a major news event, including the death of Sandra Bland, who authorities say hanged herself in a Texas jail after she was arrested for kicking an officer during a traffic stop.

Her death spurred three of the most active days to talk about race on Twitter in the time frame, according to Pew. Here are the top 10:

June 18, 2015 — 4.3 million tweets — Day after church shooting in Charleston, S.C.

April 28, 2015 — 3.4 million tweets — Unrest in Baltimore after death of Freddie Gray

July 22, 2015 — 3.3 million tweets — Details released about death of Sandra Bland

July 29, 2015 — 3 million tweets — #BlackLivesMatter protests in response to Sandra Bland’s death

July 23, 2015 — 3 million tweets — Day after details are released about Sandra Bland’s death

Feb. 16, 2016 — 2.9 million tweets — Day after Kendrick Lamar’s provocative performance at the Grammy Awards

Nov. 11, 2015 — 2.9 million tweets — Missouri University of Science and Technology student is arrested after racially charged threats

June 19, 2015 — 2.9 million tweets — Two days after church shooting in Charleston

Feb. 29, 2016 — 2.9 million tweets — Day after 2016 Oscars, controversial for lack of minority nominees

June 29, 2015 — 2.9 million tweets — Day after BET Awards

——

©2016 The Dallas Morning News

Visit The Dallas Morning News at www.dallasnews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

_____


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
APS students return to classrooms Tuesday
ABQnews Seeker
Officials still dealing with effects of ... Officials still dealing with effects of cyberattack
2
Body found in rubble of charred building
ABQnews Seeker
Investigators looking through the rubble of ... Investigators looking through the rubble of a West Central Avenue office building fire Monday morning discovered a body. Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews were dispatched ...
3
Drawing history
ABQnews Seeker
Political cartoonist scorned the powerful for ... Political cartoonist scorned the powerful for 60 years
4
$600M project puts NM town at center of hydrogen ...
ABQnews Seeker
Prewitt facility could be first successful ... Prewitt facility could be first successful coal-to-hydrogen project in the nation
5
Former lobbyist finds new calling in cannabis
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque man gives up $90,000 salary ... Albuquerque man gives up $90,000 salary for local budding industry
6
Justice, sort of, is coming after deadly crash
ABQnews Seeker
Woman expected to accept plea agreement ... Woman expected to accept plea agreement over tragic incident
7
Proposal for vote of no confidence in Senate president ...
ABQnews Seeker
A proposed vote of no confidence ... A proposed vote of no confidence in Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart failed Sunday during a private caucus meeting of Senate Democrats. The ...
8
Natural resource agencies request funding boosts
ABQnews Seeker
Climate change bureau would tackle emissions Climate change bureau would tackle emissions
9
At 470 killed, traffic deaths return to the bad ...
ABQnews Seeker
Pedestrian death tally reached 99, breaking ... Pedestrian death tally reached 99, breaking record set back in '94
10
Ready or not, it's legislative session time
ABQnews Seeker
Lawmakers to tackle host of NM ... Lawmakers to tackle host of NM issues