Black Lives Matter August Networks

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Note that the most popular hashtags are proper names of the victim (e.g., #MikeBrown and #Michael Brown). Other place and proper names used in hashtags (e.g., #FergusonPolice, #DarrenWilson, and #EricGarner) were less interesting in our view, as they merely referenced a basic element of the story (a person or a place).

Hashtags, such as #AllLivesMatter, #BlackLivesMatter, and #JusticeforMikeBrown, can be considered as ideological markers because they indicated a particular position (or belief) about the event. #JusticeforMikeBrown is the most popular of these, and it also includes the proper name of the victim in the hashtag.

We categorized hashtags, such as #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and #ICantBreathe as conceptual markers because they make personal conceptualizations of (or references to) the story. Interestingly, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was the most popular of these in the early weeks after the shooting.

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