What’s a threat on social media? How Black and Latino Chicago young men define and navigate threats online
Patton, Desmond Upton
Eschmann, Robert D.
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Citation (published version)DU Patton, P Leonard, RD Eschmann, C Elsaesser, S Patel, S Crosby. "What’s a Threat on Social Media? How Black and Latino Chicago Young Men Define and Navigate Threats Online." Youth and Society, pp. 1 - 17 (17). First Published July 13, 2017 https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X17720325
Youth living in violent urban neighborhoods increasingly post messages online from urban street corners. The decline of the digital divide and the proliferation of social media platforms connect youth to peer communities who may share experiences with neighborhood stress and trauma. Social media can also be used for targeted retribution when threats and insults are directed at individuals or groups. Recent research suggests that gang-involved youth may use social media to brag, post fight videos, insult, and threaten—a phenomenon termed Internet banging. In this article, we leverage “code of the digital street” to understand how and in what ways social media facilitates urban-based youth violence. We utilize qualitative interviews from 33 Black and Latino young men who frequent violence prevention programs and live in violent neighborhoods in Chicago. Emerging themes describe how and why online threats are conceptualized on social media. Implications for violence prevention and criminal investigations are discussed.