'#IfTheyGunnedMeDown' Responds to Media's Portrayal of Michael Brown

Are Blacks victims treated differently in the news?

Posted: 08/11/2014 12:16 PM EDT

Twitter users have created the '#IfTheyGunnedMeDown' Twitter hashtag to respond to the media's portrayal of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by police in St. Louis on Saturday.

Brown, 18, would have started his first day of college today and his future was taken from him when he was gunned down. However consumers of the news say that the images used for his stories do not portray him as a young man who was soon heading to college and instead show him in a negative light.

Twitter users put themselves in Brown's position and shared split images of themselves, asking if the police had gunned them down, which photo would the media use?

Malcolm Shakur West shared a photo of himself wearing a cap and gown at his graduation next to a photo of himself wearing jeans. "What picture would they choose? Would they paint me as a honor graduate or bandana wearing thug?" he tweeted Sunday. 

Another user known as "@WhoIsDeante" shared an image of himself blowing smoke from what appears to be a hookah next to an image of himself in military uniform.

Both images were re-tweeted more than 500 times and bring to light the question of whether African-American victims are treated differently in the news.

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(Photos from left: WhoISdeante via Twitter, Malcolm Shakur West via Twitter)

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