Following #JillMeagher: Collective meaning-making in response to crime events via social media

Powell, A, Overington, C and Hamilton, G 2017, 'Following #JillMeagher: Collective meaning-making in response to crime events via social media', Crime, Media, Culture, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 409-428.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Following #JillMeagher: Collective meaning-making in response to crime events via social media
Author(s) Powell, A
Overington, C
Hamilton, G
Year 2017
Journal name Crime, Media, Culture
Volume number 14
Issue number 3
Start page 409
End page 428
Total pages 20
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract In the early morning of Saturday 22 September 2012 an Australian woman, Gillian 'Jill' Meagher, was reported missing after spending an evening out with work colleagues in suburban Brunswick (Melbourne, Victoria). Thousands of Australians followed the crime event as it unfolded via the mainstream news and online. On Sunday 23 September, a Facebook group 'Help Us Find Jill Meagher' was created, accumulating 90,000 followers in just four days, while the hashtags #jillmeagher and #meagher were two of the highest trending topics on Twitter across Australia. This article focuses on the social media narrative constructions of this crime: from Jill's initial disappearance, to the identification of her alleged killer and discovery of her body, through to the street march held in her memory on Sunday 30 September 2012. Through a qualitative analysis of a Twitter dataset comprising over 7000 original tweets, the article explores meta-narratives of sexual victimisation, 'risk' and 'safety', as well as 'digilantism' and activism that characterised Australian Twitter users' responses to this violent crime. In doing so, the article reflects on collective practices of meaning-making in response to public crime events that are enabled in a digital society.
Subject Criminological Theories
Keyword(s) Digital criminology
narrative
sexual homicide
sexual violence
social media
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1741659017721276
Copyright notice © 2017, The Author(s) 2017.
ISSN 1741-6590
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