Social media makes public much that was formerly private

 Racist Teens Forced to Answer for Tweets About the ‘Nigger’ President, Jezebel.com, November 9, 2012

A shocking piece about Twitter being used as a vehicle by teens, some high school athletes, others attending Christian schools, for conveying racist perspectives.

The tweets, all written after the last election, refer to Obama as a “nigger” and a “monkey.” Their schools were informed and apparently a number of the teens were disciplined.

We can assume from these tweets that racism is alive and unwell in America, but that much of its particulars have gone underground.

As has been my point of view from when I first began writing about children and the media, we see how the media, in this instance social media, has become part of the American family as kids sit in their bedrooms and living rooms and do their tweeting. 

Until recently, much of this hateful conversation has been hidden in families or among peers. But with with birth of Twitter, much material formerly private, like dialogue in a phone call or even ideas expressed in a text message, is bursting into the public and so can lead to very serious public repercussions and hopefully valuable societal conversation.