DOI: 10.36190/2021.35

Published: 2021-06-01
Mapping Moral Valence of Tweets Following The Killing of George Floyd
J. Hunter Priniski, Negar Mokhberian, Bahareh Harandizadeh, Fred Morstatter, Kristina Lerman, Hongjing Lu, P. Jeffrey Brantingham

The viral video documenting the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin inspired nation-wide protests that brought national attention to widespread racial injustice and biased policing practices towards black communities in the United States. The use of social media by the Black Lives Matter movement was a primary route for activists to promote the cause and organize over 1,400 protests across the country. Recent research argues that moral discussions on social media are a catalyst for social change. This study sought to shed light on the moral dynamics shaping Black Lives Matter Twitter discussions by analyzing over 40,000 Tweets geo-located to Los Angeles. The goal of this study is to (1) develop computational techniques for mapping the structure of moral discourse on Twitter and (2) understand the connections between social media activism and protest.