Social Media Plays A Role Case Of Trayvon Martin
The Internet Safety Project NewswireMarch 30, 2012
Last month, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year old Florida teen, was gunned down by George Zimmerman, who claimed self defense under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, that gives citizens the right to defend themselves when they feel threatened. Since the events, the public has expressed outrage over the crime and handling of the investigation. Much of the public's outrage is expressed, expanded, and inflamed using social media. For both better and worse, social media has played a prominent role in the events following the Martin case. A petition created on Change.org by Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, to promote justice in the court. Over 500,000 people have shown support for the petition, including celebrities like Spike Lee and Wyclef Jean. However, these same celebrities have had a negative effect as well. Recently, Spike Lee re-tweeted an address claimed to be George Zimmerman's, which turned out to be false, and actually the residence of a retired Florida couple, forcing the couple to leave after receiving hate mail and other harassment, compelling Spike Lee to apologize for his actions. Refusing to learn from Spike Lee's actions, fellow star Roseanne Barr tweeted George Zimmerman's actual address, then deleted the tweet, and threatened to re-tweet the original address. Coming under criticism similar to Spike Lee, Roseanne has also been asked to apologize. Social media has had both negative and positive impacts on the case of Trayvon Martin, but which is more prevalent? Should social media play such a strong role in current events? Is it the voice of the people? And what happens when people use social media in the wrong way?
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