The black mirror of social media: exploring perceptions of racial inequalities during police interactions as presented in social media narratives

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Remy Heaven Epps (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Shelly Brown-Jeffy

Abstract: Much of the 21st century has been overwhelmed by various technological advancements that have ultimately captured the interest of society. The creation of the internet and subsequently social networking sites have added a new aspect to the theory of individual and group identity formation. Social media has played an increasing role in highlighting variations in the treatment of White and Black Americans by the police in addition to potentially perpetuating the “White Privilege” ideology. To achieve this objective, a content analysis was used to provide a contextualized interpretation of narratives from two Twitter hashtag campaigns: #CrimingWhileWhite (CWW) and #AliveWhileBlack (AWB). The tweets presented an appallingly sharp image of everyday inequalities Blacks and Whites face. #CrimingWhileWhite shows the experiences Whites have within the criminal system; In contrast, #AliveWhileBlack provides anecdotal evidence of differences in treatment. The dichotomy between content in the hash tags CWW and AWB highlighted the harsh reality and differences in treatment of people from law enforcement because of the color of their skin.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
#AWB, Black Twitter, #CWW, Police Interactions, Twitter, White Privilege
Discrimination in law enforcement $z United States
Racial profiling in law enforcement $z United States
Police $x Complaints against $z United States
Police-community relations $z United States
Online social networks $z United States
Social media $z United States
Race discrimination $z United States
United States $x Race relations

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