#RodneyReed: a content and thematic analysis of a trending innocence campaign
Cardoso, Carina M.
MetadataShow full item record
Having spent 23 years (and counting) on death row for a murder conviction which is believed to be wrongful, Rodney Reed’s innocence campaign was shared on social media by celebrities, news organizations, and the public (Barajas, 2021), accruing over 2 million signatures in support (Bates, 2019), and resulting in a stay of execution. His campaign is one of many movements (e.g., #BLM, #MeToo) that have used social media to mobilize the public through information dissemination, opinion expression, and online activism (Sandoval-Almazan & Gil-Garcia, 2014). To better understand this viral campaign, we conducted a content and thematic analysis of 740 randomly sampled tweets that included “#RodneyReed” between February 13th, 2015, to November 15th, 2019. The major themes are discussed in the context of social media activism and wrongful conviction. The results focus on how individuals used Twitter to act on behalf of Rodney Reed through sharing facts, opinions, and activist actions.