Newer social media trends highlighted in recent police killings - FOX Carolina 21

Newer social media trends highlighted in recent police killings

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Clemson's Social Media Listening Center shows trending topics of the day after the Dallas shooting (FOX Carolina) Clemson's Social Media Listening Center shows trending topics of the day after the Dallas shooting (FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Clemson's Social Media Listening Center was abuzz with tweets and posts about several tragedies in the news this week. 

"We are listening to the world," said Dr. Joe Maezer, who runs the Listening Center. He said conversation built gradually over the week about the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers, but reached a pinnacle after five Dallas police officers were shot to death during a protest decrying those killings. 

"Over 5 million mentions that have come into the center since the shooting last night," said Maezer. "They are coming from all over the world."

Facebook Live, originally mostly used by journalists and celebrities to broadcast live to the world, is now being implemented by everyday users. But the girlfriend of Philando Castile, killed by a Minnesota police officer Tuesday, was on Facebook Live as he lay dying, a video that sparked outrage around the world. 

The Clemson Social Media Listening Center tracked millions of posts from around the world about the shootings. Staff there said the week's events show the importance and power of social media. Alton Sterling's killing by a Baton Rouge police officer was captured on a cell phone and put on social media, also sparking outrage. 

"I think what is very unique about the situations we have seen this past week is that there have been a succession of negative events...they just come one after the other," said Maezer, who said the constant influx of negative news drove the spike in negative sentiment on social media. 

Social media experts said Facebook Live, Periscope and other live apps are "game-changers" when it comes to watchdog journalism by the public. 

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