Blog Post Six. Analysing Aboriginal solidarity online.

The issue of police brutality against the First Nations people in this country is an issue which is so often ignored and justice for the victims is rarely served. After reading an article earlier in the week through New Matilda ( entitled “White Man’s Manslaughter. Black Man’s Murder. White Man’s Riot. Black Man’s Uprising.” I was strongly moved and decided to use this as my main issue to research further into this week.

As a result of my personal values and interests, I am aware of the online community that exists for Aboriginal Rights and activism. Thanks to this I was able to pull out some important words and phrases which would enable a better analysis of this online discussion. This knowledge of groups like the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance as well as movements like ‘BLM Australia’ and hashtags like #blackdeathsincustody were great foundations in searching through twitter to analyse the types of voices that contribute to these movements.

I decided to base my online research through twitter as it enabled me to search specifically through all different people groups and analyse what’s being said using these very specific terms. It was easy for me to cull unrelated posts as well as dive into the groups of people who join together around these ideas through the use of such definitive terms. Users can interact with one another through the use of these terms and through the communal following of activist pages and discussions. Following the links between pages, users, tags and shares allowed me to gain a better understanding of how Aboriginal people and activists join together and comfort one another in their struggles against police brutality and aboriginal deaths in custody.

The following flow chart shows the process I went through when looking at these community groups and the way they interact with one another.

flow chart webscrape.jpg

After analysing this specific community, it was clear to me through their tone of voice and character that they are a strong, brave and supportive. The group rallies together against stereotyping, racism and speaks out against mistreatment of their own people.

As a way to further research this group, I tailored the twitter advanced search tool to include a variety of terms related to the issue and combine them to look at the types of people and groups who were using this kind of language. Included below are some of these combinations

The following are screen captures of some of the results I came across through the use of the advanced search tool.

Once I started this form of social media analysis, it was easy to come up with new search terms by looking at similar phrases that were used by participates of the discussion which allowed me to get new tweets which added to my collection of data. This, in turn allowed me to reimagine the system I was using and change it to generate more interesting results.

Looking forward, It can be seen how this collection of data could be used to generate a politically and socially motivated infographic to highlight the amount of Aboriginal people who were killed in custody or at the hand of our police force and how often this goes ignored by the government with justice never being served.

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