Characterizing the demographics behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement

Alexandra Olteanu, Ingmar Weber, Daniel Gatica-Perez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)


The debates on minority issues are often dominated by or held among the concerned minorities: gender equality debates have often failed to engage men, while those about race fail to engage the dominant group. To test this observation, we study the #BlackLivesMatter movement and hashtag on Twitter-that has emerged and gained traction after a series of events typically involving the death of African-Americans as a result of police brutality-aiming to quantify the population biases across user types (individuals vs. organizations), and (for individuals) across 3 demographics factors (race, gender and age). Our results suggest that more African-Americans engage with the hashtag, and that they are also more active than other demographic groups. We also discuss ethical caveats with broader implications for studies on sensitive topics (e.g. mental health or religion) that focus on users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 AAAI Spring Symposium Series - Collected Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposia
PublisherAI Access Foundation
Number of pages4
VolumeSS-16-01 - 07
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357544
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event2016 AAAI Spring Symposium - Palo Alto, United States
Duration: 21 Mar 201623 Mar 2016


Other2016 AAAI Spring Symposium
CountryUnited States
CityPalo Alto


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Olteanu, A., Weber, I., & Gatica-Perez, D. (2016). Characterizing the demographics behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In 2016 AAAI Spring Symposium Series - Collected Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposia (Vol. SS-16-01 - 07, pp. 310-313). AI Access Foundation.