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Black Twitter’s Expected Demise Would Make It Harder To Publicize Police Brutality, Discuss Racism

Before the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Sandra Bland were propelled into the media spotlight, their names were Twitter #hashtags.

In 2020, Twitter was essential to the spread of historic Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality across the world.

But Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has thrown the future of Black Twitter into question. Social media users argue that the takeover has already had an impact on the Black social media community.

For instance, not only do multiple sources report an almost immediate spike in the use of the N-word, but Musk has also allegedly mocked Black Lives Matter in general and the group’s apparel found at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, California.

The impact of Musk’s takeover is so abundantly clear that Black Twitter held its own satire-infused funeral.

What are y’all wearing to Twitter’s homegoing service? pic.twitter.com/CKU8Vjbams

— Brooklyn White-Grier (@brooklynrwhite) November 11, 2022

Me & the other 2009 Twitter users busting into the Twitter headquarters tonight pic.twitter.com/pPR4sl2GYA

— bria celest (@55mmbae) November 18, 2022

@IssaRae go ahead and launch Hoot Hoot or whatever Lawrence was plotting on… Black Twitter needs a new home?

— ME SZN??? (@meaghanmckinley) November 18, 2022

User tweets clearly take a humorous approach, a well-documented coping technique for the Black community. But as a Black professor who studies communication and police brutality, I am petrified when I envision the implications of Black Twitter’s demise.

It Starts With A Hashtag

A world without Black Twitter is a world void of robust, rapid and authentic information sharing on police brutality within the Black community. As a result, it is my belief that the community will be systemically silenced and exposed to increased levels of police-related violence.

Black Twitter refers to the digital community within Twitter that embraces and celebrates Blackness all while circulating topics, stories and images that directly relate to and affect the Black community. Black Twitter is not defined by geography or membership.

Instead, it refers to a culture and community co-created by Black Twitter members. Black Twitter is used to offer cultural critiques, and

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