#blacklivesmatter: The investigation of twitter as a site of agency in social movements

Joseph L Flores, University of Texas at El Paso


As an extension of mediated communication practices, social media sites have continued to increase the complexities of understanding how they not only affect the real world, but how they continue to effect communication practices in general. Due to the fact that social media sites exist as a mass mediated platform with high amounts of interpersonal communication elements, social media has become an important object of research when understanding how they can provide voice and agency to those who exist outside of traditional media power structures. By observing events in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland involving police and unarmed civilians, activists, journalists, and citizens alike took to Twitter to have their voices heard. As a result, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter became an important topic of discussion on Twitter and eventually evolved into a social movement proper. During these important social events, the dialogue that took place on Twitter becomes an appropriate lens of study when seeking understanding on just how Twitter operates as a platform for the other voice, and how this manifests itself as agency.

Subject Area

Black studies|Communication

Recommended Citation

Flores, Joseph L, "#blacklivesmatter: The investigation of twitter as a site of agency in social movements" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000779.