#BlueLivesMatter

#BlueLivesMatter is referencing the blue uniform that police wear. The hashtag #BlueLivesMatter is used as a tag on posts regarding anything about support and sympathy for the police force or discussing the importance of the police force in communities in general. #BlueLivesMatter is often used as a response to another very common hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, which is regarding the overwhelming number of shootings of Black individuals by the police. By using the Hashtagify.me social media analysis tool, I found that the major hashtags associated with my issue were #Trump2016, #BlackLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter, #MAGA, #tcot, #Dallas, #PJNet, #PoliceLivesMatter, #WakeUpAmerica, and #ThinBlueLine. I immediately found it interesting that #BlueLivesMatter and #Trump2016 were related. After doing some research, I came to find out that #MAGA stands for “Make America Great Again” and #tcot is short for Top Conservatives on Twitter. Presidential candidate Donald Trump is the Republican Party nominee for this year’s presidential election. Trump often uses the slogan “Make America Great Again” in his pursuit to “bring back the American dream.” The hashtag #WakeUpAmerica can sometimes be tied in with the #MAGA theme on twitter and you can also find relations between the two in speeches from Trump himself. When “Top Conservatives on Twitter” is used as the hashtag #tcot, it provides a way for Republicans in general, but conservatives in particular to find, like, or retweet tweets of other Republicans and conservatives with their same viewpoints. So all three of those hashtags create one theme of politics. Another major theme that I found related to this topic is war and opposition. The hashtag #BlueLivesMatter is often used as a backlash or rebuttal to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag or even #AllLivesMatter. In another sense, #AllLivesMatter is used as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement. This creates three sides to this one topic. In general, the #BlackLivesMater and #AllLivesMatter tags are used to express dissatisfaction with the police work in the case of shootings of minorities while in police custody. #BlueLivesMatter is used to express support for the police force but, in some cases opposition to the other side of these incidents. The shooting of Dallas police officers only magnified this sense of opposing sides. Five police officers were shot and killed when a sniper gunned down police at a march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement- “as payback”, the police chief says. Users have differing opinions about the reports and there are mixed responses to the reports. Users have also taken their views on the topic of Blue Lives Matter to PJNet, Public Journalism Network. The site is a network for journalists, educators from all over the world, but also just the common man who values the relationship between journalism and democracy. Although it started as a public journalism site, it has now expanded to an informational clearinghouse for both public journalism and citizen journalism. The site also has a twitter profile where their tweets consist of posts mainly about opposition to Islam, terrorism, Hilary Clinton, and President Obama. One tweet quotes, “Why is our media quick to find evil in our local police, but not in Islamic terror?” Other tweets like, “He’ll (Obama) give nuclear weapons to his Islamic freak friends”, “One Nation Under God. NOT ‘Allah’”, and “Obama and Hilary Know They Can Lie. The DNC Approved Media & Complicit GOP Cover For Them”, pretty much sum up the theme of their page with a bio reading “Our members are a united Twitter users tweeting as a team to advance the conservative cause.” The DNC is the Democratic National Convention and GOP is an abbreviation for “Grand Old Party”, which is used as a surname for The Republican Party. These tags add emphasis to the theme of politics that is tied in with the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag. Another tag used in relation is #ThinBlueLine, which refers to the image of the American flag with a blue line replacing one of the stripes. Overall, users view the police force an essential element to the patriotism of American culture and they view any opposing force as a threat to that patriotism.

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