The Pew research center recently released a study which concluded that the hashtag “Black Lives Matter” is tweeted approximately 17,000 times per day. NPR recently reported on the poll which had a number of findings about American attitudes towards social media in general.
For example, the case found that around half of all Americans have been active on social media discussing political and social issues. Americans identifying as Democrats are the most statistically likely to get involved in political activity via social media. The age group most prone to discussing political and social issues on social media include was between the ages of 18 and 49.
One of the key findings in the study, however, was the revelation that approximately 80 percent of black Americans believe social media is responsible for bringing issues that aren’t largely discussed to the forefront of mainstream media.
Hispanics and white Americans were closer to 60 percent in terms of their reliance on social media to amplify previously unknown issues.
However, the largest part of Americans overall believes that social media platforms are a major distraction with more than 70 percent also believing that sites like Twitter and Facebook lead users to believe they’re making a significant impact on a political or social cause, when in fact they’re having much of an effect at all.
That said, the hashtag Black Lives Matter was found to be of significantly consistent in terms of presence on Twitter. However, between the period of July 7 and July 17 in 2016, the hashtag trended most, following the shooting of Alton Sterling by Louisiana police officers in the city of Baton Rouge.
The popular hashtag was tweeted out some 500 million times per day during that 10-year period in 2016. As probably expected, opposing hashtags, such as those for “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter,” also saw notable spikes during those days.
The report was conducted between the dates of May 29 and June 11 in 2018 and sampled 4,594 people who responded to the survey and states a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points in either direction.
The survey recruited subjects via landline and cellular devices to be apart of the study which was conducted both in Spanish and in English.
According to a report by Vox, black people are far more likely to be shot by police officers than white people. In 2012, black people made up 31 percent of police-related homicides, whereas they only made up 13 percent of the population. The Sentencing Project also concluded that the higher crime rates in black communities only explained certain percentages of higher incarceration rates, leaving racism and bias a prime culprit for the black population in the American prison system.