George Zimmerman’s Acquittal Sparked 4 Times As Many Angry Tweets As Supportive OnesBy: Josh Wolford - July 18, 2013
If you were on Twitter during the aftermath of the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, you probably noticed that the majority of tweets referencing the trial did not support the decision. Hashtags like #justicefortrayvon and #nojustice spread quickly, as many users expressed shock, outrage, and sadness.
Pew Research has crunched the numbers and used statistical patterns to identify the breakdown of Twitter sentiment following the trial’s conclusion – and it looks like your eyes did not deceive you. There were many more tweets expressing anger over the verdict than tweets expressing support.
It wasn’t even close, really. Pew says that 31% of the nearly 5 million tweets sent out in the 26 hours following the verdict expressed “anger.” Only 7% expressed support for it. So, by a more the 4:1 margin, Twitter did not agree with the six-woman jury’s decision.
That means that you likely saw more of this:
Not guilty? Florida you failed again. Casey Anthony now #Zimmerman He can run while on Earth but GOD knows what happened.
— Sean Mardis (@SeanyFootball) July 14, 2013
And less of this:
Thank God. #Zimmerman free. Now, I think we can all take a moment for the Martin family and keep them in our prayers as well.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) July 14, 2013
According to Pew, the majority of tweets (39%) were simply broadcasting the decision – with no bias. 11% of the tweets discussed, in some way, the media’s coverage of the trial.
Also, the verdict sparked a massive surge in tweets that equaled the number of tweets made during the entire duration of the trial:
“The level of Twitter engagement in the case spiked dramatically after the verdict. The nearly 5 million tweets (4.9 million) in the first 26 hours after the verdict virtually equaled the total volume of tweets (5.1 million) about the case posted during the entirety of the 33-day trial. By way of comparison, there were 4.7 million tweets alone on July 14 in contrast with an average of about 151,000 tweets each day during the trial,” says Pew.
It’s clear that if Twitter sentiment decided the case, Zimmerman would not be a free man today.