Blue Lives Matter refers to the blue uniform that police officers 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 regards the overwhelming number of shootings of Black individuals by the police. We can see a few examples of remix culture and convergence culture with this topic. Now in the readings and class discussions, we talked about what is called remix culture and convergence culture. From my understanding, remix culture can be described as a group that accepts new products created by combining or editing already existing works, as far as media. Naturally, it is permissive of efforts to “remix” the work of copyright holders. In Henry Jenkins book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, he talks about convergence culture. He says, convergence culture is where grassroots and corporate media intersects, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways. The book discusses the relationship between media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence. When researching my topic Blue Lives Matter, and going through social media posts related to it, I did not find much evidence of remix culture or convergence culture in this sense. The only example of convergence culture I could find is the whole concept of the social media pages itself- where users give their viewpoints of news released on the television, in newspapers (old media) in posts posted on social media sites (new media). Jenkins goes on to explain convergence as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want.” When I used one of the social media analysis tools, I found that #tcot and #PJNet were two of the hashtags most related to Blue Lives Matter. TCOT is Top Conservatives on Twitter and PJNet is the Patriot Journalist Network, conservatives trying to advance the conservative cause through twitter usage. So, conservatives and the people who support the conservative agenda use these hashtags to see content they agree with. Police officers taking selfies of themselves on the job and civilians recording police deadly force incidents on their mobile phones can be tied into the theme of remix culture and convergence culture. Because of the time that we are now living in, social media is more prominent than it has ever been. To appeal to people to gain support for the Blue Lives Matter cause, police are using selfies of them looking happy and friendly and uploading them on social media. Here is an example of a post I found using this tactic:
On the other side, we can see posts like the following of black suspects depicted in a negative light, to create opposition to their side.
But also, we now live in a time where things are so accessible that civilians can record a police officer shooting and killing unarmed or cooperating individuals. So although I did not find evident examples of convergence culture and remix culture, these are some things that can be tied into the theme of remix and convergence culture.