Citizen Framing of #Ferguson on Twitter

Mia Moody-Ramirez, Gabriel B. Tait, Ceeon Smith, Lillie Fears, Brenda Randle


This textual analysis examined the framing of Ferguson, Missouri, that emerged following Michael Brown’s death in 2014. The analysis indicates tweets focused on the protests that followed and the racial nature of the incident. The most salient themes characterized Ferguson within the context of “bigger picture” issues, “otherness” narratives and “protest” frames. Many tweets transmitted a racialized tone, characterizing Ferguson as a “less than desirable town with mostly Black residents and low-life thugs.” This study provides support for the use of textual analysis in studies of social media platforms and indicates it is imperative to look at representations of race, power and cultural narratives in popular mass media messages. 


Michael Brown, #Ferguson, critical race theory, tweets, user-generated content, framing and #blacklivesmatter.

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