FOX16.com

Social media users get emotional about election

Social media has allowed people to let their political views be known to the world more so in this election than any other before.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Social media has allowed people to let their political views be known to the world more so in this election than any other before.

Just after the announcement of President Barack Obama's reelection, a group of Ole Miss students gathered on campus to protest. Claims of a riot quickly spread to Twitter as the group grew to four-hundred strong, and some students shouted racial slurs.

"That's kind of one of the unfortunate things that's really emerged in this social media network. Like I say, I don't think there's really any way to stop it. Our society prides itself on this freedom of expression," says UALR sociology professor Dr. Terry Richard.

Richard says the explosion of Twitter and Facebook comments about the election is part of a new global socialization.

"People just feel like they can share these personal views and show everyone how they feel," says FOX16's Kelly Dudzik.

"That's the other interesting thing probably about news anchors is that individuals, when they see them on TV, if this is a channel they really watch, they also begin to identify with those individuals and they do feel like they can share these things," says Richard.

One Twitter follower wrote in response to Dudzik's Tweet about the President's reelection: "It's a sad, sad day for America. I'm in shock. If we've ever needed you Lord it's now."

"Individuals begin to wrap themselves up in it, then when they lose, it becomes very traumatic for them," says Richard.

According to Richard that means that some people could go to extremes.

"Some individuals that are just slightly off or become more violent really make more criminal threats against individuals because they really think their world is falling apart," he says.

Two Ole Miss students were arrested, but no one got hurt. Protesters did not destroy any property.

The University held an event Wednesday night called the "We are One Mississippi Candlelight Walk" to condemn the protest.
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