Beyond the hashtags:# Ferguson,# Blacklivesmatter, and the online struggle for offline justice

Freelon, Deen; McIlwain, Charlton D; Clark, Meredith

In 2014, a dedicated activist movement — Black Lives Matter (BLM) — ignited an urgent national conversation about police killings of unarmed Black citizens. Online tools have been anecdotally credited as critical in this effort, but researchers are only beginning to evaluate this claim. This research report examines the movement’s uses of online media in 2014 and 2015. To do so, we analyze three types of data: 40.8 million tweets, over 100,000 web links, and 40 interviews of BLM activists and allies.