From Hashtag to Movement: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice

Posted by University of Pennsylvania on February 15, 2016

From Hashtag to Movement: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice
Deen Freelon (American University) / March 17

Thursday, March 17, 2016 – 4:30pm
Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor

PROFESSOR FREELON’S PAPER AND TALK WILL DOCUMENT the initial findings of a project aimed at exploring the roles of social media in the new anti-police brutality movement spearheaded by #Blacklivesmatter. He and his colleagues have brought together a large-scale computational analysis of Twitter data, website link data, and depth interviews to understand how #Blacklivesmatter’s uses of social media accord with the latest theories in this area as well as how they compare to other prominent protest use cases.

DEEN FREELON is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. His primary research interests lie in the changing relationships between technology and politics, and encompass the study of weblogs, online forums, social media, and other forms of interactive media with political applications. His papers have ranged from Twitter analysis relating to the Arab Spring to research on youth and media. Among his areas of interest is the emerging field of “sentiment analysis” — analysis of social media data — in the service of social science research. He is an advocate of having more collaborative projects between traditional social science researchers and researchers who specialize in computational analysis, or Big Data studies.

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