Like so many Americans today, our social media channels have replaced the morning paper and the 5 o’clock news as the first places we turn for information.
But if these past few months have shown us anything, it’s that our own curated news feeds aren’t always our most credible sources, let alone providing us the full picture on an issue. Fact checking our own feeds is now a requirement of responsible citizenship.
But there are a few influencers on social media that we have to be able to count on for reliable information or else the foundation on which our democracy thrives begins to crumble. No source is more important — or influential — than the President of the United States.
Unfortunately, the only fact we can count on from this White House is that the information being pushed out is often fact-free.
Our new president has treated his social media channels — most notably Twitter — with a recklessness that is as frightening as it is deliberate.
Like a classic authoritarian, Donald Trump uses his feed to spread propaganda, foment distrust of government officials and institutions and to delegitimize and destabilize them. Even when Trump’s loyalists walk back his most irresponsible messages, as they did this week with his false wire tapping accusations, the damage is already done. Every tweet plants a seed of distrust in millions of Americans simply because if the President said it, there must be some truth to it.
Donald Trump doesn’t just want to drain the so-called swamp he wants to destroy our democracy. Twitter is his weapon of choice.
It’s an unprecedented abuse of power, yet one in which we are all complicit. We let him get away with it by following him, retweeting him, replying to him, even when we do so in disbelief and disgust. He feeds off the attention.
We need to change our own habits in order to defang him.
The first step — unfollow him in massive numbers.
Of Trump’s 26 million Twitter followers, fewer than half actually voted for him. The majority are people like us — citizens who want to see what our president is up to and, candidly, can’t look away from what we perceive as the train wreck that his is presidency so far.
But what if we did look away? What if tomorrow Donald Trump woke up and saw his following cut in half?
We created Block the Bully to do just that. With a simple click, you can unfollow @realdonaldtrump, block him from your feed and share with your followers to join you in resisting him. Everyone that participates is sending the message that his behavior will no longer be tolerated. It’s a small act of rebellion that for a President with narcissistic tendencies, could have outsized consequences.
We may not be able to change the President’s behavior right away. But we believe as Block the Bully picks up steam, and as his followers begin to wither away, his platform of choice will start to lose its power and the President will have no other option than to use traditional media to speak to the American people.
We, the Resistance, want real journalism over fake tweets.
Join us in saving our democracy and #UnfollowTrump at http://www.blockthebully.com.