Black Lives Matter, Always
Black Lives Matter, Always is Activism Always's prototype project. It documented the events of Summer 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. Online content was collected and analyzed using Natural Language Processing to reveal insights about the changing sentiments around the Black Lives Matter movement.
Our project was presented at TechSoup and ParsonsTKO's Data for Social Impact Conference in August 2020.
Movement Life Cycle
Short-term, viral social media activities mobilized the most people and brought this movement to a historic peak. However, in the long run, most people dropped from the online conversation within the one-month period, but some people have continued engaging with the movement through the end of June.
Most of the tweets were negative, especially in the first couple of days following George Floyd’s murder. Later on, as the movement transitioned into its peak stage, sentiments became more stable. Still, 60% of tweets were classified into the "negative" category. (The only major exception to this trend was seen on Juneteenth.)
In the early growing stage, hashtags were focused around George Floyd’s murder At the end of May, protest-related hashtags were emerging, which was followed by hashtags associated with specific activities, such as #blackouttuesday.
#blackouttuesday was at the peak stage of this protest life cycle. Around that time, Breonna Taylor's murder gained online traction, as well as criticism around the police system. Approaching the end of this stage, #defundpolice stepped into the top ten trending hashtags for the first time, along with a growing number of unrelated hashtags.