ICYMI: Twitter’s #ferguson explosion, geotagged

Twitter lit up last night as news of the St Louis County grand jury decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, stoking racial tensions and anger that have simmered in Ferguson since Wilson gunned down Brown, who was unarmed, in a scuffle on August 9.

This geotag-visualization of the tweeting looks like the country (and beyond) is being consumed with the news, tiny light bulbs blinking on over millions of heads in thousands of towns coast to coast — a contagion of awareness.

In a press conference announcing the grand jury decision, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch attacked social media for fueling rumor and speculation ever since the day of the shooting.

As the Washington Post reported, McCulloch said “the most significant challenge in his three-month investigation was the insatiable 24-hour news cycle and ‘non-stop rumors on social media,’ which he said clung to any available scrap of real or imagined insight into the case.”

McCulloch’s opinion of the problem in Ferguson drew a predictably acid response on… social media — responses like this one, retweeted thousands of times.

ferguson tweet