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Responses On Twitter About Zimmerman Verdict Analyzed

Tweets Expressing Outrage More Than Tripled Those Expressing Support For Zimmerman
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George Zimmerman sits on the stand during his bond hearing in a Seminole County courtroom on April 20, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. (credit: Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

George Zimmerman sits on the stand during his bond hearing in a Seminole County courtroom on April 20, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. (credit: Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

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TAMPA (CBS Tampa) – When George Zimmerman was acquitted on charges in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, thousands of people took to Twitter, both to announce the news and share their opinions.

In a new Pew Research Center analysis, the response on Twitter was almost equally divided between sharing the news about the verdict and discussing it on the social media platform.

Of the five million tweets analyzed during the first 26 hours after the verdict was announced, the tweets that expressed outrage and opposition about the ruling were  more than tripled to those who supported it. Only seven percent of tweets expressed support for the verdict, while 31 percent were expressing anger.

Tweets that shared just the news of the verdict without an opinion included were at 39 percent in that same time period demonstrating how quickly news is spread over social media platforms.  Eleven percent discussed the media coverage of the trial, nine percent were other opinions, two percent of the tweets shared empathy for Martin and less than one percent of them stated that Zimmerman’ s life was at risk because of the verdict.

The analysis also found about 151,000 tweets each day during the trial, compared to the 4.7 million tweets alone on July 14th.

In many of the tweets after the verdict, race and the criminal justice system were also included in the reactions.

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