How To Watch The Baltimore Protests On Periscope As They Unfold After The Announcement Of A Mistrial
When Freddie Gray died in police custody in April, mass protests overwhelmed Baltimore. One of the ways to watch the Baltimore protests unfold was on Periscope. Residents uploaded live video from the scene, journalists live streamed their interviews, and millions of viewers were able to watch uncensored, unedited, and distinct video from their smartphones. Following Wednesday's mistrial announcement, community members — and community leaders — are once again taking to the platform.
Periscope is a smartphone application owned by Twitter. With support for both Android and iOS, it allows anyone to upload live video. It's supposed to work like Twitter — real time information — but with video, not text. To see the Baltimore coverage, you should download the application to your phone or tablet.
Once you have it downloaded, sign in with Twitter or create an account with your phone number. You'll be asked to follow people you know, but you can skip that step if you like. Once you arrive to the home screen of the app — in the most recent version — you can explore the world on a map. To see Baltimore, zoom in close to Washington, D.C., and then find Baltimore. When you zoom in on the city, you'll see a map of blue dots with numbers written in white. Those are the videos from that area that you can see.
Their titles will give you an idea of what you'll find. Wednesday night some of the videos were "Baltimore. Quietly arresting protestors."; "Protest and prayer in west baltimore"; "#FREDDIEGRAY LIVE PRESS CONF. BLACK COALITION OF BALTIMORE"; "freddy gray"; and "#baltimore....still standing." Not all of the current videos in the area are related — but the vast majority are.
The Baltimore Police Department also uses the app. Their 8,000 some followers — as well as anyone who has the link — were able to tune into the press conference Wednesday streamed on their channel. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis spoke, calling on protesters to refrain from violence and respect the city's neighborhoods.
For those who aren't interested in downloading the app, there are other ways to find video from their computer. Twitter users post links to video. You can do an advanced search on Twitter with "periscope" and other keywords, for example "Baltimore" or "Freddie Gray." In the results you'll see Tweets that link through to videos hosted on the Periscope website.
Back in April, some protests turned violent, and news channels replayed the same scenes again and again, be it the CVS looting or the fire of the unfinished senior center. The media was heavily criticized in some circles.
If you'd like to see for yourself what's happening in real time, Periscope is the tool you'll need.