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Facebook, Twitter Asking People to Kill George Zimmerman Getting More Outrage Than Support

6:04 AM, Mar 30, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A month after the shooting, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are two names still on the top of everyone's mind.

"People from all walks of life are posting to their Facebook accounts, posting to their Twitter accounts and it's keeping people engaged in a way that's new for this era and this type of story," said Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Richman.

Trayvon Martin's shooting has been the top story not only on the news, but in people's personal space for the past month.

Updates on Twitter and Facebook dedicated to the teen and his death have dominated social media websites.

"There's a way to engage it that just hadn't been there five years ago, wasn't there five years ago," she said.

But some people have taken that personal engagement too far.

In the past week a Twitter account dedicated to killing George Zimmerman has tweeted more than 100 times, and a Facebook page calls for his beheading.

"The violent thread that's out there appeals to a very narrow range of people who would probably be looking for something else to be violent about," she said.

Both the accounts seem to have a limited amount of support in the online community.

"Mentally unstable people are going to find things to apply their instability to, but most people are not going to find comfort in that," she said.

The majority of the tweets about the @KillZimmerman account have been asking Twitter to remove or suspend it.

Four days later it remains an active page.

But after all the rallys, tweets, and updates about George Zimmerman, it's not clear exactly what he's seen in reaction to the shooting.

"From the people who are speaking for him it seems as if he is aware of the wave of furor around this case, and the outrage towards him, the disgust towards his behavior," she said.

While Zimmerman has remained in hiding since Feb. 26, he is now a household name across the country.

"What is local has been redefined because our friends are no longer just our neighbors and people who live in a two-mile radius. They're people who live across the globe," she said.  

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