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Black Lives Matter Toronto: A Qualitative Study of Twitter’s Localized Social Discourse on Systemic Racism

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posted on 22.05.2021, 09:47 by Tacicia Bryan
This Major Research Paper examines the Twitter discourse of Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO), a chapter of the Black Lives Matter Movement which addresses issues of racism and police brutality. BLMTO protested in front of police headquarters between April 1st and April 15th, 2016 and used Twitter to document their protest during this time. This paper provides a content and sentiment analysis of 346 tweets collected during this time frame. The analysis of the Twitter content is based on concepts drawn from the scholarly literature on the public sphere, identity and social identity, and framing theory. My findings indicate the following: 1. Black Lives Matter Toronto uses media framing techniques, as well as logical and moral appeals, to build credibility as a strong subaltern counterpublic, an information resource for community building and an influencer online, through sharing relevant statistics, news stories and persuasive rhetoric. 2. BLMTO incorporates calls to action to create publicity and facilitate community mobilization. 3. Key themes in the tweets include the exercise of power in society, the need to build community and create a common sense of right and wrong, and maintaining solidarity





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type