News at Smith

UMD-Smith Marketing Expert Comments on Social Media’s Effect on Gun Control Debate

Jan 22, 2013
World Class Faculty & Research


Bill Rand, assistant professor of marketing and director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business comments on social media’s effect on the gun control debate that has been revived by the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.:

“Both sides of the debate are using social media to attempt to persuade the American public. For instance, the Brady Campaign has a new app that accepts gun control campaign donations, monitors gun lobby donations to congressional representatives and gives users the means to share all of this immediately via social media. Additionally, Democrats have been using Twitter hashtag #NowlsIsTheTime to push for new gun control legislation. At the same time, the NRA has been using Facebook and Twitter to spread its arguments as widely as possible. But one of the major benefits of social media is that we are not just constrained to official voices. Individual users have been extremely active on social media, arguing for their respective sides of the debate. This, in many ways, is the true egalitarian power of social media.”

Rand uses computer models to help understand various complex systems such as suburban sprawl, traffic patterns and financial systems. His current research focuses on the diffusion of information across social media platforms.

He is available for further comment. Contact him at or 301-405-7229.

The Smith School has an in-house facility for live or taped interviews with business and public policy experts via fiber-optic line for television or multimedia content.


About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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