• Making an online movement:
 a content analysis of tweets by @AMarch4OurLives account

      Hannan, Erin (2020-05)
      The March for Our Lives movement began four days after another historic school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. With more than 400,000 followers in 2020 and more than a million supporters taking part in nationwide school walkouts and protests over the last two years, this social media movement that began with #MarchForOurLives has developed into a rigorous campaign to call on U.S. elected officials to change gun-control and for citizens to get educated and vote. This study looks at how Twitter users engaged with the March for Our Lives movement’s (@AMarch4OurLives) original tweets from February 18, 2018 to December 31, 2019. The impact of this social media movement has resulted in unprecedented U.S. policy changes on gun-reform and an ongoing conversation on gun control policy. A content analysis was conducted (n = 500) to discover what characteristics of the tweets such as topic, tone, hashtags, and year influenced social media engagement in the form of likes, retweets, and replies. The purpose of this research was to uncover how the popularity of this movement online could have played a role in setting a new political agenda on gun-control. The results showed that tweets about the topics of the NRA received the most replies from Twitter users, and tweets pertaining to the topic of shootings gained greater user engagement in the form of likes and retweets. The general tone of @AMarch4OurLives tweets on a 5-point scale of negative to positive varied depending on the topic of the tweet, with an average tone of all the tweets being slightly above neutral (M= 3.38). Lastly, the results of this study reflected that tweets posted in 2019 received less user engagement than tweets in 2018 which were shared closer to the events of the Parkland shooting.