Social Media Reacts to Zimmerman Verdict - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Social Media Reacts to Zimmerman Verdict

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB NEWS CHANNEL 5)- Saturday night, a six-person jury handed down the verdict in the murder trial of Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman - 'Not Guilty.' The controversial nature of the trial motivated people across the country to voice their opinions on the outcome...and many of those opinions were tapped out on phones, tablets, and computers. In light of this, News Channel Five's Rachael Penton takes a look at the role social media plays in the world of breaking news.

Within seconds of news that George Zimmerman had been found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, social media outlets exploded.

"It was nothing but the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case. It went down my news feed for like 10 minutes," says Dylan Barnfield, an avid Twitter user.

On Twitter alone there were one million tweets about the verdict in less than twelve hours.

"I didn't hear about it until I got on there and I was like, what? What happened?" says Dianna Devonay, a frequent user of Instagram.

Turning to social media to discuss breaking news events is the new norm for many people.

"Every time something major happens on the news Twitter is probably the first thing that happens. I don't even look at the news anymore because Twitter pretty much informs me on everything. I didn't have to watch one thing of television because it was explained in detail and they had all their different views on it," says Barnfield.

Millions post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram each day to voice their opinions on issues like the Zimmerman verdict.

Some see it as a way to blow off a little steam...

"It is good because you can vent without having to call somebody and tie up one person," adds Devonay.

While some say they hold back, because of what other people might think.

"I wouldn't put my personal business on what I think out in the public to where it could offend anyone," says Steven Gunn, a social media user.

Whatever the issue is, and whether it's being discussed it via hash tag, photo, or status update...the reason why so many turn to social media is simple.

"It's much easier just to wake up and since Twitter is the first thing I check...it's pretty convenient," adds Barnfield.

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