Criticism Ensues After University of Southern California Does Black Twitter Study


The University of Southern California isn’t the first to study “Black Twitter,” and it won’t be the last.

Let’s discuss the phenomenon that is Black Twitter. Yes, I’ve capitalized the “b” in black, because it deserves the distinction as a proper noun, especially since there’s currently a study on it being conducted by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California.

According to the study, here’s what the researchers are doing:

Developing a multi-method approach to studying public discourse on Twitter that explores both macro and micro-scale activity simultaneously in order to draw out particularly active, engaged “neighborhoods” within the larger population. Among the many different ways that audiences incorporate Twitter into their media ecologies, “live-tweeting” is one of the most promising for researchers. “Live-tweeting” refers to an open-ended discussion among casual viewers, producers, critics, fans, and anti-fans alike that unfolds in response to television programming, in connection with real-time viewing. From sports events to awards shows to original content, this sort of real-time activity offers a unique opportunity for researchers to listen in on live commentary from thousands of viewers at once.

It’s no surprise that Black Twitter is a hot commodity when it comes to market research and advertising. According to recent Pew research, 18 percent of Twitter’s U.S. users are black, and it’s this number that has marketers striving to figure out how to make a profit out of it.

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Source: The Root | 

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