Hijacking #myNYPD: Social media Dissent and Networked Publics

Jackson, S. J. and Foucault Welles, B.
Journal of Communication
65(6), 932-952. (2016)
November 15, 2016


In this article we  investigate the hijacking of the Twitter hashtag #myNYPD following the launch  of a public relations campaign by the New York City Police Department in  April of 2014. Theorizing networked counterpublics, we examine how Twitter  was used as a platform to generate and promote counterpublic narratives about  racial profiling and police misconduct. Through a combination of  large-scale network analysis and qualitative discourse analysis, we detail  counterpublic structure and leadership, discursive strategies deployed by  crowdsourced elites, and the reception of counterpublic activism in  mainstream media. We conclude with implications for understanding the  evolving nature of counterpublics, with particular consideration to the roles  of new and old media in (re)shaping public debates around marginalization,  profiling, and policing.

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