A Closer Look at Trayvon Martin’s Social Media Footprint

The high school junior’s death sparked Twitter hashtags, Facebook statuses and YouTube tributes

In honor of Trayvon Martin, NBA star Dwyane Wade posted a picture of himself on Twitter sporting a black hoodie (Image: Dwyane Wade, Twitter)

The Trayvon Martin case has captured the nation’s attention in recent weeks.  It’s clear that Trayvon was an unarmed 17-year old African-American male from Sanford, Florida who was walking back from a 7-Eleven store with a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.

For almost 3 weeks, this story lay dormant on the social media front; there wasn’t a sign of Trayvon on Twitter until March 17.  Then, all of a sudden, you began to feel a groundswell as the masses started leveraging the power of new media with undeniable plans to turn the wheels of justice.  Without social media helping to bring awareness to this issue and give concerned citizens a voice, this case might have remained just a local tragedy.  However, the viral nature of social media has created an indomitable digital uprising.

An Inside Look at Trayvon’s Social Media Influence

The timeline, which focuses on the first 30 days, shows how things played out online:

Feb. 26, 2012: Trayvon Martin is killed.

Mar. 8, 2012: An online petition is created by Martin’s parents.

Mar. 15, 2012: @MichaelSkolnik ,  Co-Director of Global Grind tweets: pls join our Facebook page as we seek justice for Trayvon Martin on.fb.me/yKjNtj

Mar 23, 2012: @DwyaneWade posts a picture of himself with a black hoodie

Mar. 23, 2012: Lebron James (@KingJames) tweets: #WeAreTrayvonMartin #Hoodies Stereotyped #WeWantJustice  campl.us/il4E.  The tweet included an image of the Miami Heat team wearing black hoodies.  This image has gained over 308K views.

Mar. 23, 2012: President Obama speaks on the case, saying: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

March 28, 2012 The online petition is signed by 2.1 million people within a 3 week timeframe, becoming the fastest growing petition in Internet history.

A Facebook fan page, created by Global Grind, was formed in memory of the slain teenager. It now has over 165K “Likes.” Also, various hashtags were designed to create a steady stream of findable tweets surrounding the tragic case.  Popular hashtags include #IamTrayvon, #WeAreTrayvon, #TrayvonMartin, #Justice4Trayvon and #JusticeforTrayvon.

Celebrities and everyday people using social media to assist in the larger movement is a great example of social good (with a tech twist, of course). Prominent individuals such as Spike Lee, Donald Trump and Wyclef showed their support via their social media platforms. As for television personalities, TV One’s Roland Martin was very influential in bringing the issue to a mainstream audience. It was those efforts that brought people to Change.org, where over 2 million people signed the petition seeking the arrest of George Zimmerman.

Social media has the ability to ignite change and bring awareness to injustices within and beyond national borders.  Without this man-made digital megaphone, this would be just another case and Trayvon would probably be yet another untold story.

 

 

If you are aware of any rallies, marches or other local events held in honor of Trayvon, please feel free to share them in our comment section.

 

 

 

ACROSS THE WEB
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  • james w. johnson

    how many white kids, 16 years old, are roaming the streets of a gated community that has had a rash of burglaries, at 3 oclock in the morning with a flat blade screwdriver in his back pack? what was his use for that screwdriver?
    read his blog. a diatribe against society in general. his father thought he had gone to the movies? get real, people. all he had to do was to push his hoodie back and talk to zimmerman. get real, people.

    • LJ

      Amen! At first when I saw the picture of the cute innocent 13 year ol;d I thought it could have been murder. THEN after I did some research and saw pictures of Trayvon at 17 and NOT 13 throwing gang signs and and flipping everyone the bird (These photos are very hard to find now?) I realized we were being feed a load of cr*p. Trayvon was a thug and I believe justice WAS served. There is a bigger agenda here and we are not being told the truth.

  • B.A. DARNELL

    I have been praying that something would take place for the parents of Trayvon Martin , thank GOD looks like something is going to be done about it. I hope the parents can get some closure,peace and justice.

  • Citizen

    ….. seriously???
    you people cultivate this thug culture and emulate all the worst aspects of the streets in pop culture, then you complain that we as a nation jump to conclusions about your characters and intentions … you can’t have it both ways … grow up … get some real heroes … go out there and actually contribute to society for a change … Trayvon was a thug! Zimmerman did us all a favor!

  • LostWorld

    Considering the tragic loss of life, innocent or not. I grew up in the South and, believe or not, I don’t care about Trayvon or Zimmerman more than I am concerned about those who will profit from this and ignore the daily harm that we see that might not be news-worthy. I was taught as a young Irish Scott in the 60′s that we respect each other as long as we deserve respect. And, that I as a young man had to earn respect, which included how I presented myself to others in both behavior, work ethic and dress. Zimmerman is a nut, he should face the music through the justice syst. Trayvon should have been at home studying as I was at his age.

  • JAN kENNEDY

    I am sorry for the loss of Trayvon. Zimmerman,if anybody has read his Bio,
    was raised a good catholic and has tried to do the right thing. The community he was living in were having many breakins by young black men.
    Stealing what ever they could. The neighborhood was tired of it. They formed a neighborhood watch and asked Zimmerman to head it. Zimmerman was taking courses in Criminal Justice. His wife was taking courses to be a nurse. Trayvon was expelled from school for having traces of illegal drugs
    on him in a bag. Trayvon was over six feet tall, Zimmerman is about 5’6
    Zimmerman had reason to be concerned about Trayvon walking late a night.
    He called the police, he was trying to do the right thing. If he just wanted to kill him, he would have done so. The black community wants justice. They should put more of there time and energy in helping young black men on moral issues and how to live in society. I think George Zimmerman is a hero. Not for killing Trayvon, but for trying to make the community more safe. Trayvon was not supervised by an adult that is what got him killed. It is a major problem in our society. Police can’t do anything and are afraid to.

  • rexx

    Notice Dwade with a BASKETBALL…? Not a screwdriver!!! Hoodie + basketball = athlete

    Context, haters… context.

  • Diana Cohen

    It’s always sad where there is a loss of life. I feel sadness for Trayvon’s mother having to face the rest of her life always wondering what happened the night her son died. However, since none of us were there, we can only hope that all EVIDENCE is presented in order to allow true justice to prevail.
    Whether Trayvon was up to no good that night, or whether he was a victim of the ongoing problems created by other black youth in that area, we may never know. However, it is unfair to crucify Mr. Zimmerman without having any PROOF that he acted out of self-defense. Trayvon’s family got their “wish”..that an arrest be made. Now ALL must await the outcome of the judicial system and all it entails.
    For the Al Sharpton’s of the world to be whipping up the racist frenzy is indeed a black mark on him and his agenda. For the Black Panthers and others who would make this ALL about race, I say their judgment will come from above if not in this lifetime. It is truly hate for the masses of racial agenda we see infesting the “media” and the ghettos in order to stir up public OPINION without facts to back them up.
    I sincerely hope Trayvon’s family will find peace in whatever way the justice system provides, and if it should not be the way the racial black tide is trying to push it, then I hope that there will not be further loss of life in pursuit of revenge.
    The Al Sharpton’s of the world could better use their hot air and energies to try to find “justice” in the thousands of black-on-black killing in Chicago, Detroit and other inner-city neighborhoods. Why not try to get to the root of those killings and bring the true murderers to “justice”?

  • bob

    amen. it all started with lbj giving money to single mothers and then no fathers in the home

  • aruba19

    “It’s clear that Trayvon was an unarmed 17-year old African-American male from Sanford, Florida who was walking back from a 7-Eleven store with a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.”

    And ended up pounding another man’s head on the ground and getting shot for his trouble. Quit trying to spin a bad situation. This guy was no saint.

  • Fbsc892

    i love it. one less nigger off the street. niggers kill each other, i dont have a problem with that. white power

    • Wcarter6

      What an asshole! you should die yourself