Like the Civil Rights Movement, Black Twitter can be a uniting force that can—and will—magnify issues affecting the Black community, as well as shut down the Internet at any given moment. No wonder it has piqued the interest of researchers across America.
On Wednesday, the University of Southern California (USC) announced it is currently developing a study to comprehend the paradox that is Black Twitter. Here is how USC defines us:
Black Twitter is a dynamic, open-ended, socio-technical phenomenon. Black Twitter exists as a fluctuating collective rather than a clearly defined “community,” although some Twitter users that identify as black racially (or in other ways) also identify as a member. Black Twitter manifests through discussion and interactions among individuals and groups as well as the political, cultural, and media events that resonate with these users’ collective interests and experiences. Users contributing to the – notably lively – Black Twitter discourse are among the most deeply engaged with the affordances of Twitter’s platform and employ technical features such as the hashtag, search function, and Trending Topics to raise the widespread visibility of content and themes that they value. As a result, newcomers to Twitter are occasionally surprised to find that the system can have a profoundly Black feeling to it.
*Raises Eyebrow *
In addition, the research will be conducted by three Caucasian men.
Here are my questions: Why does America rely on white men to uncover the mystery and interaction of the Black community? Are there no educated Black scholars who can fathom the enigma known as Black Twitter? How can we trust a race that seems determined to eliminate our kind?
In true Black Twitter form, once the study was unveiled Black Twitter went ablaze. The hashtag #BlackTwitterStudy went viral and members of this coveted group shared their opinions in 145 characters or less.
This reads like a study of the covert communication among slaves. pic.twitter.com/Z5LY5r7mr6
— The Kitchenista (@MissAngelaDavis) September 3, 2014
This is not the first study about African-Americans and social media. In January, the Pew Research Internet Project said, “African-Americans have exhibited relatively high levels of Twitter use since we began tracking the service as a stand-alone platform, and this continues to be the case—22% of online Blacks are Twitter users, compared with 16% of online whites.”
Instead of understating why the Black community discusses the controversial issues that are detrimental to our well-being, let’s focus on transforming a country and their opinions about the “minority.”