Twitter is often met with mixed feelings by the public.
For some it is an obsessive pass time where they can connect to their favorite stars and tweet their musings about life and their day. To its critic, it is an example of the decline of western civilization. They scoff at people who discover breaking news through Tweet outbreaks instead of CNN and long for a time when newspapers were one of the most popular main forms of media and hash tag was not in the American lexicon.
But like it or not, Twitter has invaded vast parts of our culture. Not only does Twitter have at least 500 million users, but it has been integrated into American Politics. For the past two Presidential elections, CNN has allowed twitter followers to ask candidates political questions during presidential debates.
More importantly, This week a Twitter Campaign known as Black Twitter successfully killed two book deals.
Within the same week that George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin, not only Juror B37 announced that she would write a book about the trial, but Zimmerman himself would also be writing a book based on his so-called ordeal.
Sharlene Martin, a literary agent stated “My hope is that people will read Juror B37’s book, written with her attorney husband, and understand the commitment it takes to serve and be sequestered on a jury in a highly publicized murder trial. The reader will also learn why the jurors had no option but to find Zimmerman not guilty…”
Bring in Black Twitter, a phenomenon coined to describe media obsessed African Americans. Now it is the leader in a political and cultural movement in America. This began when Genie Lauren, also known as @MoreandMoreAgain via twitter created a Change.org petition to stop Juror B37’s authorial plans. This resulted in Lauren gathering 1,300 signatures, and tweets describing Black Twitters rage over the book deals.
One Twitter user referred to the book’s capitalization of Trayvon Martin’s trial “Blood Money”.
This outbreak of angered twitter users led to Sharlene Martin directly messaging Lauren via Twitter stating that she would be dropping B37’s book deal.
“I decided to rescind my offer of representation after watching Juror B37 on Anderson Cooper 360. I believe I made a grave error in judgement in wanting to represent this story. Shortly after I reached out to B37 and suggested we terminate our book representation agreement”.
This is not the first time the internet has played a part in motivating people politically. During the Arab Spring Facebook was integral in mobilizing and helping a revolution blossom. In an age where technology is constantly affecting the historical landscape it will be interesting to see how the internet and other forms of media will affect the Trayvon Martin Case and the new racial dialogue that has been opened.