The findings speak to how quickly people today consume and interact with news on social media. But researchers did not make any conclusions around what drove the increased Twitter activity for the events in Ferguson.
To be clear, the two events developed differently as news stories. Martin's shooting did not set off the same firestorm of protests and police reaction that demands media coverage and the National Guard was never deployed in Florida. Other events in the news around the time of Martin's shooting, like Russian protests against Vladimir Putin, may have also diverted attention away from Florida.
At around 271 million, Twitter has roughly double the monthly active users now than it had around the time of Martin's shooting.
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