#NeotericRacism: Exploring race-based content in social media during racially charged current events
Research regarding the expression of race-based content on social media is sparse. To contribute to this understudied area in psychology, a qualitative study was conducted to explore messages used in social media during racially charged events. In the current study, content analysis was used to explore how Twitter users expressed raced-based content following the grand jury decision in the racially-charged case of Michael Brown. A total of N = 101 tweets using the hashtag Ferguson were analyzed and coded. Five categories emerged including content related to racial hatred, support of systems enacting racial injustice, racial epithets, opposition to racism, and news coverage. Categories formed three themes: a) content related to racism, b) anti-racists content, and c) news coverage. Implications are discussed and the paper culminates with recommendations for psychologists considering ways to utilize and integrate social media into their professional roles.
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