Social media fuels protests in Ferguson and New York

After the controversial grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, protesters turned to social media to organize their demonstrations. Twitter and Instagram were used to visualize the growing crowds and motivate additional protesters to join the organizers in the streets. I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for a story on the use of social media platforms as organizing tools in these protests. 

The following is an excerpt from the article “Ferguson to New York, Social Media Is the Organizer’s Biggest Megaphone”:

“You can see that it’s not just five people standing in Times Square — it’s people marching throughout the city,” said Marcus Messner, associate professor of journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University who teaches social-media journalism. “The immediate visuals we’re seeing on Twitter and Instagram help people overcome that barrier to getting out and protesting.”

Please also read the entire article on the website of the Wall Street Journal.

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