George Floyd Protest Videos Were Watched Over 1.4 Billion Times In The First 12 Days of Unrest

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

George Floyd Protest Videos Were Watched Over 1.4 Billion Times In The First 12 Days of Unrest

In the aftermath of George Floyd's death, the worldwide protests, corporate condemnations and reflections on racism in America have sparked a common impression: 'This timecould bedifferent.'

An L.A.-based analytics and digital rights management firm now has data it says backs up that sentiment.


Pex, which helps creators and rights holders audit, measure and monetize their audio and visual intellectual property across the web, has found that 80% of the 100 most-viewed videos on Twitter in the 12 days following George Floyd's death were related to Black Lives Matter. Another 10% were related to race or racism more broadly.

Among the top 10 are incidents of police aggression, guidance for protesters and the arrest on live television of a CNN reporter and his production crew.

In all, the data that Pex aggregated from Twitter show that between May 25 and June 5, race- and BLM-related videos were watched over 1.4 billion times. Their analysis isn't able to detect whether some of that activity is being fomented by bad actors or bots. But Pex's head of business development, Wilson Hays, argues that such a high concentration of viewing around one subject matter is remarkable.

"Not only have the recent uploads related to Black Lives Matter received more views than any other societal moments in recent years, but it has completely dominated the sheer volume of videos being uploaded and viewed," said Hays. "With so much content constantly battling for our attention, this has shown us that this anti-racism movement was not going to be ignored and demanded the attention of audiences everywhere."

Comparing these data to a handful of recent examples provides a striking indication of how abnormal it is to have one topic capture so much attention.

In the week following the January 2017 Women's March, for example, Pex estimates that just 13% of the top 100 Twitter videos pertained to the protest and women's rights.

In the time between The Washington Post's September 2018 publication of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had raped her and Kavanaugh's October Senate confirmation, the figure was just 4%.

And an analysis by the New York Times reports Twitter said that by May 28 of this year over 8 million tweets had been tagged with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. That's over 50-times the number of similarly tagged tweets in the five months following Eric Garner's death in 2014. (The phrase "Black Lives Matter" came into widespread use in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.)

Historians, organizers and protesters have offered reasons why this time feels different: the evident cruelty of the video footage of George Floyd's death, pent-up anxiety from the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that lockdowns have meant many have more time to watch and participate in what's happening on the streets. There's also the fact that 2020 is an election year, which may be spurring politicians to take a stand.

Pex's data suggest another reason: the high volume of video footage and the fact that the footage has truly captured our attention.

"We can say that for the first time," Hays said, "we've all been watching this together."

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Rivian Q2 Earnings Are a Much-Needed Nothing Burger

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian R1S at a charging station in the desert.
Rivian's Q2 numbers are delightfully boring.

Rivian, the fledgling electric vehicle startup in Irvine, CA, released its Q2 earnings yesterday. I’m happy to report they’re pretty boring! There were no big surprises from RJ Scaringe’s EV hopeful, but here are the report highlights:

  • ~$15 billion of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash as of June 30 2022.
  • 98,000 net R1 preorders
  • Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans
  • Rivian has produced 8k vehicles so far
  • The company is still on pace to deliver 25,000 vehicles in 2022
  • -Actual revenue was $364 million.
Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending