A content and thematic analysis of Reddit discussions about When They See Us
Henry, Taya D.
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As the number of wrongful conviction media productions increases, an understanding of their impact on viewers is prudent. In this thesis, I investigated the effect of watching When They See Us – a dramatized miniseries depicting the wrongful conviction of five racialized teenagers in 1990 – on the nature and duration of Reddit users’ conversations about wrongful convictions. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted on users’ posts. Posts about wrongful conviction were the third most frequently encountered (following posts reviewing the miniseries and mentioning other parties involved in the case) and thematically covered the issues of Risk Factors, Exoneration and Beyond, and the Innocence Movement. Additionally, wrongful conviction was discussed more during the release of When They See Us than before, suggesting that that these conversations emerged due to watching the miniseries, but were rarely posted six months afterwards. The findings are discussed in terms of slacktivism and implications for innocence advocates.