A study by BKC Faculty Associate Desmond Patton, et al. addresses the challenges many researchers and practitioners face when trying to understand relationships between social media use and gang activity in marginalized communities. It outlines the methods, guidelines, and results to their study to better address this barrier.
"Mounting evidence suggests that social media can exacerbate tensions among gangs that ultimately lead to violence, but serious questions remain about precisely how conflict online translates to conflict offline," writes Patton. The research "leverages the expertise of formally gang-involved youth as domain experts to interpret and categorize potential threats online (Frey et al. 2018), using their responses to develop a framework for understanding participant responses to tweets and the potential for violence in tweets."