Event Title

“Raising Awareness”: Police Brutality Videos and White Supremacy in the Feed

Presenter Information

Natalie Villasana, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A247

Start Date

10-28-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 3:20 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to examine how social media platforms Facebook and Twitter facilitate the circulation of images of anti-Black violence using top trending hashtags following murders by police as a case study. The research is intended to evaluate how social media platforms mediate user-generated visual content, and how platform features, such as the news feed, can alter the meaning of the violent images posted and circulated with the intent to raise consciousness. Primary sources included tracking hashtag volume of people’s names who were killed by police including Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile. Though Facebook and Twitter brand themselves as concerned with “an open and connected world,” their paradigm of instant, perpetually new information on the news feed enables the trending of violent images, but obfuscates systemic violence against Black people in the United States. Hopefully this research will support growing scholarship of social media platforms as governing entities in visual culture, as the rapid exchange of digital images becomes more and more ubiquitous.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2 - Media & Movements

Major

Creative Writing

Award

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF)

Project Mentor(s)

Harrod Suarez, English; Comparative American Studies

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Oct 28th, 2:00 PM Oct 28th, 3:20 PM

“Raising Awareness”: Police Brutality Videos and White Supremacy in the Feed

Science Center A247

The purpose of this project is to examine how social media platforms Facebook and Twitter facilitate the circulation of images of anti-Black violence using top trending hashtags following murders by police as a case study. The research is intended to evaluate how social media platforms mediate user-generated visual content, and how platform features, such as the news feed, can alter the meaning of the violent images posted and circulated with the intent to raise consciousness. Primary sources included tracking hashtag volume of people’s names who were killed by police including Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile. Though Facebook and Twitter brand themselves as concerned with “an open and connected world,” their paradigm of instant, perpetually new information on the news feed enables the trending of violent images, but obfuscates systemic violence against Black people in the United States. Hopefully this research will support growing scholarship of social media platforms as governing entities in visual culture, as the rapid exchange of digital images becomes more and more ubiquitous.