Language and Dialogue in Persistently Developing Social Media

#resist was a relatively new concept to me prior to this past weekend. In fact, until recently I had not become well versed in many aspects of social media prior to recent years and involvement in organizational and career social media and public relations. The tag became known to me through multiple friends of friends over Facebook, so in light of interest on social media campaigns I decided to see what narrative Twitter maintained for this specific social media campaign and its following.

Like a great deal of politically or morally charged social media campaigns, this particular hashtag is readily identifiable in terms of the unified nature of the content and opinions which follow the movement. Through broad skimming of the hashtag’s search results on Twitter, a general audience could interpret a left-leaning campaign from the particularly negative connotations and general resistance of notable right-wing figures and their respective actions. One particularly poignant example is that of a Democratic Coalition post which follows a story of Kavanaugh who has become a markedly divisive topic in the public eye recently (1). This post, while adorned with the #resist tag, it was also associated with a #stopKavanaugh tag as well.

While the aforementioned post could be more viewed as more informational (though left leaning) in nature. However, a significant portion of the posts are relatively confrontational in nature. Two posts which caught my eye were right together, making their messages all the more impactful. The messages of the profiles “Jeremy the Coose” (2) and “Lock Up MORON trump” (3) both voiced opinions of resistance, properly honoring the hashtag moniker, with the latter’s name being much more evidently left leaning at first glance. Though dissenting opinion is expected in such a politically charged context, there is a degree of silence imbued through the use of predominantly negative dialogue.

Negative messages have the potential to end in all outside opinions to feel ostracized and shut off from the campaign, ultimately not allowing any form of debate or dialogue which facilitates possible change through political collaboration. Though the #resist movement by no means should be defined by the extreme voices of those that choose to use its tag, the extreme voices of any social media campaign only emphasize the importance of how the tone we deliver opinions through affect the incentive of any kind of democratic debate.

Notes:
1) Democratic Coalition, Twitter Post, 12 September 2018, 5:24 p.m., https://twitter.com/TheDemCoalition/status/1040033444632379393
2) Jeremy the Coose, Twitter Post. 12 September 2018, 8:33 a.m., https://twitter.com/DasCoose/status/1039899819223998464
3) Lock Up MORON trump, Twitter Post. 12 September 2018, 7:40 p.m., https://twitter.com/ih8morontrump2/status/1040067694819778560

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