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Use of Social Media to Counter Political Bigotry

Use of Social Media to Counter Political Bigotry

Top view of multiracial stacking hands – International friendship concept with multiethnic people representing peace and unity against racism – Multi racial love and integration between diversity

President Trump has been widely criticized for his use of social media to make racist remarks. For example, the Anti-Defamation League recently condemned his tweets urging four U.S. Congresswomen of color to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” One way many people are countering Trump’s bigotry, however, is to use the same tools — social media — to show the error of his ways.

For example, the Democratic party, led by Tom Perez and several others, are tweeting and retweeting to promote events aimed at helping black women and children, praise Democratic Congresswomen, and urge Democrats to encourage their like-minded friends to register to vote. A retweet of Adam Schiff’s tweet says: “Trump will never change. He’ll only get worse. Here’s what we can do: Register your friends to vote. Volunteer. Vote him, and those who defend him, out of office. And love your neighbor. No matter who they are or where they’re from. There’s no better antidote than that.” A tweet says: “Trump’s incredibly divisive and racist efforts to divide our country are his attempt to distract from the issues ahead of 2020. The American people see right through it, and they’re tired of it. We cannot and will not be divided.”

Blogs also are being used to counter Trump’s bigotry. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has blogged: “Trump Violates Constitution and Undermines America’s Safety with Emergency Declaration” in response to the president’s actions regarding immigration at the Mexican border. In the blog “We Must Stop Trump from Winning with the Race Card. It Starts with the Traditional Media, the Daily Kos urges the traditional media to be more vigilant against Trump’s racism. Another blog, “Leave America or Become a Trump Slave”, encourages Americans to register their displeasure by retiring abroad and earning a part-time income through blogging against Trump and through the creation of a secure app to enable mobile voting.

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Facebook is also being used as a platform to bring attention to and fight this racism. Stop Trump, a Facebook page created by “conservatives, moderates and liberals dedicated to opposing Donald Trump and making America GOOD again” features a cartoon with the caption “We had to put up razor barb wire because of all the Trump Christians thinking they were going to get in.” Several Facebook pages created around the impeachment theme also include posts about racism. For example, “Impeach Donald Trump Now” contains a post from July 20 that reads: “Congress has given us enough excuses. The President is a dangerous, race-baiting bigot. People demand action now.” The Facebook page is part of a social media campaign conducted by a similarly named organization and also links with a blog and twitter account.

A campaign is also under way on Instagram. A recent Reuters article has reported the emergence of several accounts called ‘hatetrump’ or ‘ihatetrump’. Some of these, however, have been found to be against Instagram policies by using photos from other sources or acting in tandem with other accounts, Reuters said. In a post unrelated to the coordinated campaign, artist Michael James Schneider used balloon letters to write “Donald Trump is a ra_ist.” He includes a photo of himself holding both the “c” and the “p”.

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