In the first 26 hours after the verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Twitter exploded. But how do we figure out the balance of interaction on Twitter? What were people saying, and in what proportion?
The Pew Research Center, a think tank that releases data from surveys (among other things), worked with Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company, to comb through millions of tweets about Zimmerman, Martin, Florida, gun laws, race, and fury. Crimson Hexagon looks for patterns in word use to figure out what people are talking about without having to have a human read it all.
The survey found that the most tweets about the verdict were straight news updates, of the "here's what happened" variety. And that makes sense; even if you intended to tweet a dozen times with a point of view, your first reaction could well be a simple announcement of the verdict. And many would tweet nothing else. 39 percent of the tweets surveyed were of that sort. But close behind, at 31 percent, are described as "anger at verdict." About half of those tweets were about the criminal justice system and its various perceived failings, slightly less than half were anti-Zimmerman, and the remaining 2 percent were pro-Martin.
11 percent of the tweets focused on media coverage, which, eeep. Sorry.
Only 7 percent of the tweets surveyed showed support for Zimmerman, though that doesn't include retweets; many news organizations and media types spent awhile retweeting or responding to those who spoke out in favor of the decision, which wouldn't have shown up in the survey.
Check out the full analysis here.
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It took some 4 prosecutors to get Zimmerman to trial. The prosecutor had maybe an advantage with 6 women. They all looked at the evidence and said Zimmerman was NOT GUILTY. What more is there to say?
If you are white person walking around in downtown Detroit and they kill you, no one will blink an eye. They'd say stuff like stupid white guy! Should have known better. There would be no national attention. No false claims of race.
I wish that no one ever got killed by the way. Same as I'd wish no crooks or bad guys ever walk the street at night or any crime take place anywhere.
It is time the black community own up to their faults even if genetic or social. They have had a hard road to toe sure, but so have the Irish, and Jews and any number of immigrants. Time to work toward a better day. How many Asians have come to US and found a peaceful life? No more excuses!
Ya know, I feel bad for Trayvon. And I'm sorry he died. No one should die that young. And I understand the reactions. The quick jump to blame the guy with the gun. And I've gone through the possible scenarios in my mind, based on what I know of the evidence. And the result is always the same, no matter how hard I try to blame Zimmerman for getting out of that car and looking for Martin. The fact is, that that is exactly what neighborhood watch persons do. They watch. And they report. And if you're out there doing that, you're going to want protection. Such as a gun. After all, you're alone, out at night, looking for crime and criminals.
So let's first put ourselves in George's shoes. You see someone that looks suspicious. Why does he look suspicious? Well, he fits the description of the people who have been robbing the homes in that area for the past however many months. So what do you do? You call the cops and keep an eye on him. After all, that's what your there to do.
Now let's put ourselves in Trayvon's shoes. Your walking home from the store. It's dark and raining, and you see some one watching you. Perhaps even following you. So what do you do? You have a phone (we know Trayvon had a phone because he was talking to someone on his phone just before the incident) You could call the police, you can call someone to come and get you, you can continue to walk home, or possibly all of the above.
So, worst case scenario that goes to George's guilt would be if George walks up to Trayvon and asks him what he's doing there. In which case Trayvon could answer, 'not much, just going home. I live over there'.
OK so at this point does George push Trayvon around and start a fight, or perhaps tries to detain him for when the cops come? We already know he had called them and they were on their way so... ok, maybe, worst case... George tries to keep him there. But does any of that sound right to any of you? Why would George want a confrontation of any kind? Since he's already called the cops and knows they are on their way, why not just continue to watch Trayvon so he could just point him out for when the cops get there? After all, he's a neighborhood watchman, not the neighborhood fighter. Either way, I don't see George starting anything unless he was intending to pull his gun on him and risk his own death or a murder charge. And I just don't think that neighborhood watchmen are out to do either of those things. So I really don't see any scenario that has George Zimmerman starting the fight. At the very worst, I can see George stopping Trayvon and ask what he's up to. But that's it. That is the extent of George's fault, if there is any.
The more likely scenario, IMHO, is that Trayvon for whatever reason decided that he was tough enough to;
1) not have to call the cops because he wasn't scared
2) be able to take George in a fight
3) confront George and teach this cracker a lesson.
The only thing he didn't take into consideration is that George might be armed. So he confronts George, proceeds to start kicking his ass, and leaves George with no choice but to defend himself the only way he could. And unfortunately, tragically for Martin, the only way George could defend himself was to pull that gun and fire.
I believe that if George didn't have a gun, George would have died that night, and we would have never heard of either George nor Trayvon.
So I really can't see this as anything more than pure self-defense. And I'm sorry for the Martin family, and I'm sorry for George Zimmerman, and mostly I'm sorry for Trayvon. This need not have happened if Trayvon had just called the police when he felt like he was being followed. In fact, I am surprised NO ONE ever brought that up (that I know of). If as the prosecution claimed, Trayvon was a scared child being stalked in the night, having had a phone, why didn't he call 911? To me that's the telling clue as to who was scared and who wasn't. Who was on the phone with the cops?
Anyways. Very tragic.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
And by the way; I said 'child' when describing Martin because that was the prosecutions whole case. To paint the picture of a scared child being stalked at night in the rain. But the fact is, that most 17 year old males, while child-like in mental capacity, (as was exemplified by Martin's bad decisions, i.e., not calling 911 to begin with himself) are certainly not child-like in physical appearance nor physical capabilities. Many 17 year old soldiers throughout history have fought bravely and proficiently, and sometimes died in combat.
Once again though, my heartfelt condolences to all involved.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
GGenua reading your commentary shows me how unwilling many people are to assume that someone like zimmerman can be aggressive. I don't know what happened, but I do know that if the end result of doing your civic duty as a neighborhood watchman is to shoot a 17 year old kid/man, then something is severely wrong. Based on your unassuming logic about middle America, I can think of several school shootings that would have never happened.
And I'm basing my thoughts on the premise that Trayvon was there to rob a house. It still doesn't justify what happened...
how can an unarmed skinny 17 yr old boy be a life threat to this armed person? for real?
another question: what is the profile of this comunity guard? Someone that looks for trouble and probably hates niggaz.
So, there you have it: why he halted this kid and aked him what he was doing there, even knowing the cops were on their way. He was looking for trouble.
They had a fight: and he thought: ill teach you a lesson that you will not forget, he pulled the gun and killed the boy.
in my book he started it, he pulled a gun and he killed the boy. there is little to discuss.
It's not hard to imagine a scenario in which Zimmerman wasn't purely acting in self-defence.
Various people you know in your area have been victims of crimes, and you're fed up with it. So fed up that you then start up a local Neighbourhood Watch, as, since the cops clearly aren't protecting the people, you oughta try and see if you can do it better. You take your gun, just in case.
Fastforward: you see a sizable adolescent African-American wearing a hoodie, the very picture of the local hoodlum. You call the police, but, well, they haven't done that great a job, so you follow him. Stalk him through the streets, hoping to catch him in the act. And then you get brave.
You confront him. You try and get him to stay for the police. He doesn't want to (he wasn't doing anything wrong, after all, he was just buying candy and soda), and maybe he tries to push away. You fight back, and he fights back harder. You panic, and then remember: you took your gun with you. You pull it out and shoot him, dead.
Note in this situation, Trayvon didn't initiate the fight. He just wanted to get home. He didn't want trouble. He didn't start trouble. He Stood His Ground. Zimmerman finished what he started, but couldn't really claim self-defense.
Also note how my situation is equally as believable as your's. Regrettably, the only people who know how it actually happened are Zimmerman and the deceased Trayvon. We'll likely never know which scenario was more accurate, or whether we were both equally far off.
@darinmcgrew "but I do know that if the end result of doing your civic duty as a neighborhood watchman is to shoot a 17 year old kid/man, then something is severely wrong."
The almost 6 foot, muscular 160 pound 'child', Martin was on top of Zimmerman and was beating him, and Zimemrman did not know when or if he would stop. Zimmerman told police that Martin said that he was going to die tonight.
What was he supposed to do? Lie there until he was beaten into a coma, only to die a week later in the hospital?
The way some people talk, it's as if Zimmerman saw a black man and just decided to shoot him dead. Did you watch the trial? Did you read any of the factual news accounts? Or did you only get your information from sources like MSNBC and Al Sharpton. You need to educate yourself about the facts of this case so you don't sound like an clueless idiot.
Honestly, I don't know why this got such attention. Regardless of the fine details, people either see Trayvon as a defenseless child or possible criminal. Period. However, nothing in Zimmermans history makes him look like the type of person who goes out looking to shoot kids. I was 17 once and believe me I was a menace. I was just a skinny 17 year old too. Truth is that if most of us got what we deserved in life, especially during our teenage years, be it drunk driving, partying too much, jumping off of bridges, fighting etc. most of us would be dead or in jail. Humans are inherently insecure, and wild, in their teenage years. No teenager is an angel and your own experiences should remind you of that. So, in the end, we have a guy who has no history of violence and a kid who most likely had a problem with authority (like lots of male teenagers). The possibility is pretty good that it happened like Zimmerman said. Period. No one else was there so... case closed. Does shooting someone with a gun justify getting hit with a fist? Yes. Ask any battered women that's shot her husband. It's a fight and if you're not used to being attacked then most people are going to use whatever they have. A gun was there so by by Trayvon. Rest in peace. I don't think Zimmerman is evil or negligent. He's an ordinary guy who had the hasty reactions of someone who is not trained to deal with those situations. A good chance a cop would have shot him, beat him or tazed him too had he pulled that. Zimmerman wasn't a cop though and we all know what we say when see a security guard... "Ehhh, he's not a real cop". We don't respect them the same way. I don't know how people honestly find Zimmerman to be a villain with such little evidence. Oh wait... they didn't. Justice served. All the Zimmerman fryers can suck it. The world isn't a worse place because Zimmerman got off. I love how they portrayed Zimmerman as a "white" male too. Lol. They used every possible stereotype to play on a basic human emotion they could. They obviosuly judged Zimmerman in their own minds (the opposing legal team) and were ready to use anything at their disposal to put him in jail. I love the verdict and I feel it shows strength in our justice system. We aren't falling for racial stereotypes in our courtrooms anymore. :D
Sad for the Martin family and their loss but hey 17 year olds... tone it down a noch. You never know who has a gun.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That is impossible. Only try and realize the truth - there is no spoon."
It's amazing how some of you know exactly what happened, without evidence, and would gladly send a man to prison for life over it. They could both be ignorant and racist, or they could both be unaware and well intentioned, or one one thing and the other another. There is no way you can know. That my friends is the reason he was found not guilty, because he could not be proven guilty. It does not make him innocent. Some ignorant idiot will probably hunt Zimmerman down since he was tried and judged by public opinion and the media long before the trial began.
[Disclaimer: I live in Memphis. I see this stuff every day. The concept of it being a national incident is completely foreign to me.]
With these plastered all over the news, why is this on PopSci? Seriously, where is the science in this article?
Honestly I am so sick of the crap surrounding this issue. This guy might be guilty murder and he might not be. Bottom line both GZ and TM had a right to be on that street. Nobody saw who started the confrontation except TM and GZ. It could have gone down the way GZ said or he is lying. If it did go down the way GZ said and TM attacked him because he didn’t like being followed then he had every right to defend himself. If TM felt threatened the GZ he could have called the cops. Nothing came out in trial that proved it wasn’t self defense or that GZ confronted TM. That doesn’t mean he is not guilty but you have to be able prove he committed a crime to put him in jail. You can’t put people in prison because of what you think they did. As far as this becoming a race issue that didn’t happen until the media and certain groups made it one. The only reason they didn’t initially charge GZ is because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him which is way he was found not guilty. The only reason that we even had a trial was do to the outside pressure to arrest GZ not the facts surrounding the case. This will sound horrible but I think had he shot a Hispanic kid or a Caucasian kid this never would have gone as far as it did.
There is the truth and there are facts. Justice is only interested in the facts not the truth, which is as it should be.
So remember kids if you want to get away with murder just bring a concealed weapon, start a fight and kill your opponent (Just make sure he is unarmed first!). Perfectly legal.
of course TM was profiled, you think GZ would have had the same reaction to a white kid?
Of course GZ followed him.
Of course GZ was a little wet to finally save the day (Failed police cadet...Remember?)
As for why TM didnt call the cops.... Why would he? Florida has stand your ground laws he was well within his right to defend himself, he just didnt anticipate his aggressor would be packing.
Thank you for making my point. Just like I said people who have no idea what really happened that night making assumptions as to what went down without any facts or proof. Oh and btw stand your ground law statute basically says you do not have a duty to retreat and have a right to stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, to prevent death or great bodily harm. Last I checked following someone on a public street though creepy does not consitute a crime. Assault and battery however is a crime.
Mister Thomas, so you are saying that a "fact" is what Zimmerman told the police about what happened? That is simply a recorded statement, not a fact. Maybe you should reconsider your use of the word idiot.
Regarding the rest, I stand by what I said. Notice I never said that he committed murder or manslaughter, I just said that if the end result of doing your civic duty is shooting someone then we need to reconsider how we address suspicious activity and neighborhood watches. I also called Martin a kid/man, so you don't need to inform me of his height and weight. I am aware of the facts of the case and know how and why the decision was made. I have no interest in MSNBC or Sharpton, nor do I have an interest in making this personal, have the respect to do the same please.
Technodude0022 there is a difference between not being able to prove Zimmerman was the aggressor, and proving Martin was the aggressor. In this case, the former was the deciding factor. Had this case been assault and battery against Martin, you could make that claim. You cannot. But I do generally agree with everything else you've said, though I still think the end result of what Zimmerman did was wrong. Reporting suspicious activity should never result in following trouble. It's just a little too close to vigilantism, especially when the deceased aren't able to make a statement.
I totally agree with you. I am not saying that the guy is innocent. What I meant is that if that was all Zimmerman was doing was following him and the kid attacked him for that that amounts to assault and battery which would make TM the aggressor. The main thing though is nobody saw who confronted who. At the very least by his own words he is guilty of profiling and in my opinion just stupid going into that situation.
Yes my comment is just an opinion.
This was not a hate crime and Zimmerman should of stayed in the car as told by the police dispatcher.
Finally, Obama today comments are just minority vote catchers and I so look forward to him leaving office.
Obama comments also undermines the court system and the jury as well. What a jerk!
"so you are saying that a "fact" is what Zimmerman told the police about what happened?"
When did I make that claim? All I did was to mention his sworn testimony to the police.
It's unfortunate that you can't follow a simple comment without getting confused. Can't say i'm surprised, given the misinformation surrounding the Zimmerman case.
OK, I see you've all taken my hypotheticals as facts.
There is no evidence that GZ ever walked up to TM and asked 'what are you doing here'.
There was also 4 minutes from the time GZ lost sight of TM to the time the confrontation took place. We know this because GZ told the cops on the phone that he lost sight of TM, and then by when the witnesses say they heard a scuffle begin.
So TM was gone, out of sight, GZ didn't know where he went. Why did TM come back?
Anyways, My prior posts where complete hypotheticals. I was trying to come up with a scenario where GZ may have started the fight. Some of you claim to have a better understanding than I do. But, to me, all TM had to do was cooperate or at the very least, call the cops, if he was so afraid. And even if he wasn't, he could have walked away, gone home, anything! He had a phone. why not call the police himself?
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
Sadly the President and other public officials should be trying to work toward the betterment of the black American instead of implying anything other than what this is. There is no excuse for him to fan the flames of hate. He is the hater and needs to stop.
Your making the assumption all of us base our comments upon your comments is just an assumption on your part.
You state the obvious. Otherwise, the fact that TM had a phone and never used it to call the police is very telling. I may be assuming some things but those two things are facts.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
They should have given him a year in prison, for going into a fight, just like how two hockey players are send off when they both start fighting, he could have stayed at a distance, but no he had to take this fellow on, dumb ass jury. Police gets training for this kind of stuff, a guy wanting to be police should have listened to the police, they were both guilty, the kid as well as Zimmer, it was an alpha-male type of quarrel over territory, this shouldn't happen it's the police who's the boss.
a little late for me to chime in on this.
I've worked in the private security field for several years. Albeit in Canada, so our laws are a bit different...
I've approached trespassers in remote areas at night alone. first thing I do, call my dsipatch. i'm @ such'n'such a location. I'm approaching a [Discription of Subject].
If all they're doing is walking, be polite - and Identify yourself, the reason for the interaction and for goodness sake, be polite.
'good evening sir, my name is _____ i am building security / neighborhood watch, etc ..., did you know that this is a restricted area/Private property; can you tell me what you are doing over here?'
If they're displaying violent behaviour, kicking things, screaming, etc... you could have a problem. Keep watch and follow from a safe distance. Call for back up / other security or Police and wait to move in and detain them.
one of the major rules is to Respect the other person. You don't have to agree with what they are doing, but treat them how you would want to be treated if you were in the same situation.
unfortunately with too many wanna be cops, they're on an ego trip. This type of behaviour gets into bad situations.
I've seen it a lot.
most people, I say hi how are you. this is private property, i don't care about what you are doing, but you cant do that here. i'll give you 5 mins to pack up, but when i come back i want you gone.
that is usually all it takes.
One of my partners said to a guy, "hey you, what are you doing on my property!?"
The subject started arguing, "this isn't your property!"
the subject then kicked my partner in the crotch and tried to flee. We arrested him for assault.
but was it really worth it. A nicer, calmer approach could have went completely differently.
When you act like an [Expletive Deleted]-head people won't respect you.
Respect needs to be earned. it's not automatic, just because of your uniform.
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