Social Media Impacts Confederate Flag Removal

Many Weigh in On Confederate Flag Removal

After more than 5 decades, the confederate flag is off of South Carolina State House grounds.
Many of you have been talking about it on social media since the beginning of the controversial debate.

Trending hashtags like #Takedowntheflag and #Charleston9 have dominated social media networks the last few weeks.

Millions weigh in on the confederate flag controversy and to honor the Charleston 9 victims.

“When the Charleston shooting happened, there was this tremendous outcry of support for the victims and families,” said Brandon Boatwright, Clemson Social Media Center Director.

Clemson social media researchers say the rebel flag discussion soared as soon as the picture of Charleston shooting suspect Dylan Roof holding one was released. “The flag really became to mean more on social media,” Boatwright added.

Then when the debate began at the statehouse Monday, Clemson experts say your posts were likely being watched as legislators worked toward the final decision. According to their research, those who wanted the flag down outweighed those who wanted to keep the rebel flag flying by 10 times.

“We see words like bigotry and racism and that kind of thing,” said Boatwright. “People are elated to see the flag coming down and see the flags as a symbol of these things.”

The whole nation was watching the decision on the rebel flag to be taken down through social media. The Clemson research team says that not one state was left out of the conversation.

Even President Obama took to twitter to say taking down the rebel flag was “a sign of good will and healing and a meaningful step toward a better future.”

Clemson experts say celebrity input has been very influential and now, like John Legend, they’re shifting their attention to confederate monuments in other states.

“He said thank you South Carolina, now it’s your turn Mississippi,” said Boatwright, about Legend’s tweet.

Clemson social media experts say the response on social media following the Charleston shooting tragedy was even larger than the confederate flag. They say hashtags like “Charleston 9” are starting to trend again now that the flag has been removed.

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