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#BlackLivesMatter hashtag surges on Twitter: Pew study



In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag has been used roughly 47.8 million times on Twitter or just under 3.7 million times per day on average. That’s according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center of publicly available tweets, from May 26 to June 7.


Pew says there were about 218,000 tweets containing the hashtag the day after Floyd’s death, when the first bystander video was posted online.


The daily use of the hashtag passed 1 million on May 27 amid police brutality protests in Minneapolis where the death occurred and around the world.


On May 28, Pew says, nearly 8.8 tweets contained the hashtag, the highest number since the tracking of its use began. Even after the peak, Pew says the hashtag has consistently topped 2 million per day.


As the chart above shows, the use of @BlackLivesMatter also has increased around other race-related news events, including the release of the video in early May that captured the shooting death of jogger Ahmaud Arbery. On May 7, two days after the video emerged, there were nearly 86,000 posts with the hashtag, Pew says.


The phrase first gained national attention following the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.