“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: College Students, Social Media and the #BLACKLIVESMATTER Movement

By:  Spencer Hall, Sam Baucham, and Tim Harris

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Kim Flottemesch, PhD

This study focused on how college students are using social media in the #Blacklivesmatter movement. There have been several socially galvanizing events surrounding the #Blacklivesmatter movement that have led to many people to turn to social media to voice their opinions, share information and debate different ideas. This study specifically focused on college student’s involvement on social media surrounding these events. The data suggests that Facebook was overwhelmingly the main choice for participants to gather information about this movement. While college students are gathering information about the #Blacklivesmatter movement on social media, the data suggests that participants rarely posted or shared information about the movement on their personal social media platforms. The study addressed how the Uses and Gratifications theory helps explain why people may or may not use social media for the purpose of news/information gathering.

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