Collection Number: 40486

Collection Title: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protests Collected Tweets, 2017-2019

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 77,570 tweet identifiers (1 GB)
Abstract The #SilenceSam collected tweets contain tweets harvested from the Twitter (https://twitter.com) social media platform. During the 2017 to 2018 academic year, students and other activists organized protests calling for the removal of the Confederate monument (known as Silent Sam) on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. The protests began with a rally on 22 August 2017 and a subsequent continuous sit-in until 31 August 2017. The following year, on August 20, 2018, a rally protesting the monument was held on McCorkle Place and on Franklin Street. Protestors toppled the monument at approximately 9:20pm on August 20, 2018. On 14 January 2019, Chancellor Carol Folt announced her resignation and ordered the removal of the monument pedestal. Activists and others from the community were also active on Twitter using two primary hashtags, #silencesam and #silentsam. Also included in this collection are captures of a few related hashtags (#boycottunc, #boycottunctownhall, #iaarchat) two Twitter accounts (@Move_Silent_Sam and @dailytarheel). The protests are ongoing as of August 2019 and the data in this collection represents only a snapshot of tweets from August 2017 through December 2017, May 2018, August 2018 through September 2018, and December 2018 through May 2019.
Creator University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. University Archives.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Due to Twitter Terms of Service, the full data collected cannot be made publicly available. The collection is made available as files containing tweet identifiers (tweet ids) for all collected tweets. The identifiers can be used to query the Twitter API and gain access to the full tweet data. Any tweets that have been deleted or made private since the collection date will not be retrieved. Twarc can be used to "hydrate" the tweet identifiers. https://github.com/DocNow/twarc. For questions, please contact wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protests Collected Tweets #40486, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Collected in Fall 2017 (UA.20180110.1), May 2018 (20180511.1), September 2018 (20181008.1), and August 2019 (20190808.3). Tweets were collected using the twarc (https://github.com/edsu/twarc) python package that makes use of Twitter's search API. The search function of the Twitter API retrieves tweets from the previous seven days. In the first few days of the protest tweets using #silencesam and #silentsam were captured more frequently using the filter feature. Beginning on September 15, 2017, weekly searches for the hashtags were conducted.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

During the 2017 fall semester, students and other activists organized protests calling for the removal of the Confederate Monument (known as Silent Sam) on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. The protests began with a rally on August 22, 2017 and a continuous sit-in until August 31, 2017. Following the sit-in, organizers continued to protest through demonstrations at South Building and Board of Trustees meetings, daily protests at the monument, a boycott of UNC student stores in September and October 2017, and more. On April 30, 2018, Maya Little, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, poured red ink and her blood on the monument in protest of the statue's existence on the University's campus. On August 20, 2018, a rally protesting the monument was held on McCorkle Place and on Franklin Street. Protesters toppled the monument at approximately 9:20 pm on August 20, 2018. On 3 December 2018, The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees announced a proposal to build a $5.3 million facility to house the monument. In response to the proposal, teaching assistants organized a grade strike beginning on 7 December 2018. The strike ended on December 17 after the Board of Governors rejected the Trustees' proposal on 14 December 2018. On 14 January 2019, Chancellor Carol Folt announced her resignation and ordered the removal of the monument pedestal. The pedestal was removed on the evening of 14 January 2019. Protests and counter-protests by neo-confederate groups and anti-racist activists occurred on 3 December 2018, 23 February 2019, 16 March 2019, and 4 May 2019. During the protests on 16 March 2019, members of a neo-confederate group brought firearms onto campus, but no arrests were made. The UNC-Chapel Hill Unsung Founders memorial and an art installation outside the Hanes Art Center were vandalized on 31 March 2019. On 24 April 2019, anti-racist activists organized a rally, #StrikeBackUNC, to demonstrate against the behavior of police during protests and the treatment of student activists.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The #SilenceSam Twitter Collection contains tweets harvested from the Twitter (https://twitter.com) social media platform. Included in the collection are tweets containing the hashtags #silencesam and #silentsam. Also included in this collection are captures of a few related hashtags (#boycottunc, #boycottunctownhall, #iaarchat) and two Twitter accounts (@Move_Silent_Sam and @dailytarheel).

The protests are ongoing as of August 2019 and the data in this collection represents only a snapshot of tweets from August 2017 through December 2017, May 2018, August 2018 through September 2018, and December 2018 through May 2019.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets, 2017.

15,069 tweet identifiers; 175 MB.

Arrangement: chronological within search.

This dataset contains Twitter JSON data for several Twitter search queries that were collected related to the Fall 2017 Confederate Monument protests. The tweets were collected using the twarc (https://github.com/edsu/twarc) python package that makes use of Twitter's API.

The following hashtags were captured between August 22, 2017 and December 15, 2017: #silentsam, #silencesam.

The following related accounts and hashtags were also captured though not as frequently as the #silentsam and #silencesam tags: #iaarchat: a Twitter chat hashtag organized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of African American Research during which three professors (Erika Wilson, Kenneth Andrews, and John Bowles) discussed how they are bringing Silent Sam and Charlottesville into their classroom discussions. Collected on 09/15/2017; #boycottunc: Organizers led a boycott of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill products from September 18, 2017 to October 18, 2017. This hashtag was part of the effort. Collected on 9/29/2017 and 10/20/2017; #boycottunctownhall: A Twitter chat facilitated by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Black Congress and held on October 5, 2017. Collected on 10/6/2017.

Digital Folder DF-40486/1

Tweet identifier lists, Fall 2017 #40486, Series: "1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets, 2017." DF-40486/1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of May 2018), 2018

765 tweet identifiers.

Acquisitions Information: RT 20180511.1.

This dataset contains Twitter data collected from the @Move_Silent_Sam account following Maya Little's protest on April 30, 2018. The tweets were collected using the twarc (https://github.com/edsu/twarc) python package that makes use of Twitter's search API. Tweets were collected on May 4, 2018 and May 11, 2018.

Digital Folder DF-40486/2

Tweet identifiers list, May 2018 #40486, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of May 2018), 2018" DF-40486/2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of October 2018), 2018

37,128 tweet identifiers.

Acquisitions Information: RT 20181008.1.

This dataset contains Twitter data collected from the @Move_Silent_Sam account, @dailytarheel account, and hashtags #silentsam and #silencesam following the protest and toppling of the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam on August 20, 2018.

The tweets were collected using the twarc (https://github.com/edsu/twarc) python package that makes use of Twitter's API. Tweets from @Move_Silent_Sam and the hashtags #silencesam and #silentsam were collected between 24 August 2018 and 21 September 2018. Tweets from @dailytarheel were collected once on 28 August 2018 in an effort to capture live tweeting of statements made by individuals at the demonstrations on 27 August 2018.

Digital Folder DF-40486/3

Tweet Identifiers lists, August-September 2018 #40486, Series: "3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of October 2018), 2018" DF-40486/3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of August 2019), 2019

24,608 tweet identifiers.

Acquisitions Information: RT 20190808.3.

This dataset contains Twitter data collected from the @Move_Silent_Sam account and hashtags #silentsam and #silencesam, #StrikeBackUNC, and #StrikeDownSam. Several events prompted the collection of tweets between December 2018 and May 2019:

• Announcement of the Board of Trustees' proposal for the disposition of the monument on 3 December 2018

• The TA Grade Strike that started on 7 December 2018 (#StrikeDownSam)

• Removal of the monument pedestal by Chancellor Folt on 14 January 2019

• Protests and counter-protests by neo-confederate groups and anti-racist activists on 3 December 2018 and 23 February 2019

• Protests on 16 March 2019 during which members of a neo-confederate group were in possession of firearms on campus

• Vandalism of the Unsung Founders monument and an art installation outside the Hanes Art Center on 31 March 2019

• Rally and a new hashtag (#StrikeBackUNC) challenging campus policing at UNC-CH on 24 April 2019

• Protests and counter-protests by neo-confederate groups and anti-racist activists on 4 May 2019

The tweets were collected using the twarc (https://github.com/edsu/twarc) python package that makes use of Twitter's API. Tweets were collected in 2-3 week periods following events listed above. For specific dates when searches were performed view the documentation file available in the digital repository.

Digital Folder DF-40486/4

Tweet identifier lists, December 2018 - May 2019 #40486, Series: "4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest Collected Tweets (Addition of August 2019), 2019" DF-40486/4

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jessica Venlet, February 2018

Encoded by: Jodi Berkowitz, February 2018

Updated because of addition by Jessica Venlet and Laura Smith, June 2018, January 2019, and September 2019

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