Week 9

In Tufekci’s article “What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson” she discusses the role of twitter into political movements and overall events in the world. My roommate is very active on twitter and she was very active in the #ferguson, #icantbreath, and #blacklivesmatter movement. She went to protest in the streets and she has credited Twitter as her main form of communication with other fellow activists. I have read her Twitter feed and she is having important discussions and also trying to educate people. She is posting links to articles and encourages everyone to inform themselves. I do now have Twitter anymore and primarily use Facebook as my main means of online communication. I really feel like Facebook is not a good way to inform yourself of political issues because it is heavily filtered. I am always seeing the same 20 people post on Facebook and I know I have way more friends than that.

An incident that came to mind while reading the Tufekci article is the #ChapelHillShooting. I found out about it because of the “trending” section on the side of Facebook but I feel like I found out too late. I know things circulate way faster on Twitter and if I would have had Twitter it would have came to my attention faster. That is not to say that Twitter is heavily filtered, like the article states. The #ChapelHillShooting really broke my heart because of the news outlets. I saw the shooter’s wife on the news crying and explaining how a good man he was but I did not see the deceased’s families. News outlets were weary of calling him a terrorist or racist but if it would have been a Muslim killing three individuals it the news outlets would have painted the picture very differently. Sometimes I feel like personal accounts of news via Twitter are less disheartening than the things I see on TV or formal news outlets. Everything is filtered, yes, but we have to know what we should listen to and learn from.

Even though all these hashtags annoy me, I am so happy there are spaces where important events are being discussed, especially those trying to counter the popular media. Even though Twitter + Facebook are heavily filtered, I am glad people can post articles (and I hope I can see them!) and things that should be talked about are trending!

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