Posted by Ying Xiong
Jussie Smollett, an American singer and actor, recently have involved in the controversy of the racial issue and hate crime on social media. According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, In January 2019, Jussie Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him by yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs.” They assaulted Smollett and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him. However, Chicago police recently tweeted that reports about the “incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives.”
From February 14 to February 21, 2019, 1.4 millions of tweets discussed Jussie Smollett on Twitter. The online conversation reached a peak on February 17 and February 20. Overall, social media users held a negative sentiment on the issue. 86.1% of people expressed negative sentiment. The negative sentiment trend surged on February 20.
The news agencies, such as ABC News, Breaking News, CNN, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Time, are the top social influencers on the topic.
Social media users addressed several two topics. First, many social media users attributed the incident as “hate crime,” “racial issue,” and “hoax.” Words, such as race, racist, black, white, and justice were frequently mentioned in the context.
Second, many social media users associated with Jussie Smollett with Trump and Trump’s policies.