Nearly 12 years after Twitter first launched in 2006, it has become a global behemoth with 330 million monthly active users, supporting 500 million Tweets every day. Tweets are now a part of daily life, whether they are public conversations about social movements, individual commentary about current events, or political announcements from elected officials.
Because advocates are increasingly leveraging social channels like Twitter to influence policy decisions, researchers at Berkeley Media Studies Group set out to see how the platform is being used to highlight the connection between two critical health and social justice issues: racism and trauma. We know from research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that racism, childhood trauma, and toxic stress are closely linked and can have devastating implications for long-term health outcomes. But how effectively are childhood trauma advocates using social media to convey this message? Are they making the connections between trauma, toxic stress, and racism? Are they participating in the dialogue surrounding #BlackLivesMatter, which saw a meteoric rise on social media and arguably ignited the "movement moment?" And are childhood trauma and racial justice experts and thought-leaders listening to each other on Twitter to strengthen the movement and work toward solutions?
"To find out the prevalence of social media conversations that were connecting racism to trauma and toxic stress, we monitored and compared Tweets that focused on childhood trauma, resilience, and #BlackLivesMatter," said Sarah Han, a BMSG research associate and report co-author.
[For more on this story by Lauryn Claassen, go to http://bmsg.org/blog/5-ways-ad...and-childhood-trauma]