BlueLivesMatter 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. By using the Hashtagify.me social media analysis tool, I found that the major hashtags associated with my issue on Twitter are #Trump2016, #BlackLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter, #MAGA, #tcot, #Dallas, #PJNet, #PoliceLivesMatter, #WakeUpAmerica, and #ThinBlueLine. #MAGA stands for “Make America Great Again.” TCOT is Top Conservatives on Twitter and PJNet is the Patriot Journalist Network, conservatives trying to advance the conservative cause through twitter usage. The site also has a twitter profile where their tweets consist of posts mainly about opposition to Islam, terrorism, Hillary 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. In comparison to Twitter, Facebook posts regarding the blue lives matter movement are less focused on politics and more focused on the police officers. Posts are more specific, tying into police officers’ lives as individuals instead of the integrity of the police force as a whole. There are many posts that show pictures of officers and their families. Some posts include selfies that officers have taken while on the job, pictures with police dogs, or pictures of them doing something related to their job.
Here we see a photo of a police officer holding his daughter who has a sign in her hand that reads, “My daddy’s life matters.”
Here is a police officer taking a selfie with a police dog in the car. The officer is happy and smiling. He looks innocent and kind. Even the police dog looks innocent and playful. Neither one appears to be threatening at all.
On Instagram, I found that the top posts that came up when I searched #bluelivesmatter were more related to politics than police. Like twitter, Trump and his campaign was highly incorporated into the blue lives matter hashtag.
. The more recent posts were highly influenced by the recent election. I saw posts about anti-Muslim, immigration laws, and anti-trump protests.
Here, we have what looks like a screengrab from twitter of a news report about one of the anti-trump protests. Apparently, protestors blocked the road and an ambulance from getting to the hospital, causing the death of a 4-year old’s father before he could get treatment. Read the caption.
Here is another post talking about Trump’s proposed immigration laws. #blulivesmatter is clearly skewed towards support of Trump.
These posts were tagged with things like #MAGA, #buildthewall, #Hilaryforprison2016, and #nobama right alongside #bluelivesmatter. I was surprised to notice that there were not many pictures of police officers like there were on Facebook. On Instagram, there is not the same sense of family, empathy, and innocence. The posts seem to be more scattered, more generalized, and displayed as topics that have relation to the Blue Lives Matter movement, rather than police officers themselves as an entity. In connection to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is more of its own network and therefore there are not really any screengrabs, links, or reposts from these other sites.