Seattle Group Hopes to Stage ‘Social Media Blackout’ On Inauguration Day

‘To protest the apparent intentions of the Trump presidency and to demand that more is done to combat fake news stories on social media.’

Not a true story, bro. Photo via Facebook

A group of Seattle activists are attempting to stage a “social media blackout” on Inauguration Day.

What is a “social media blackout,” you ask? From our inbox: “People are being asked to only post images of pure black all day on January 20, 2017, to protest the apparent intentions of the Trump presidency and to demand that more is done to combat fake news stories on social media,” the press release from the nascent group Social Media Blackout says.

The website, www.socialmediablackout.net, even has all-black photos people can download to set as their profile pictures.

The effort appears similar to those staged to show solidarity on LGBT rights and Planned Parenthood.

Among those organizing the effort is Vivian McPeak, of Seattle Hempfest fame. “Symbolic gestures of protest have an impact, send a message, reveal numbers, and create solidarity. Americans who participate can make a statement that the truth is sacred and that our American democracy is in jeopardy. If enough people take part we can make a visual impact because we have the right not to remain silent,” McPeak says in the press release.

The group’s complaints are twofold. While taking pains to note that “millions of good, decent Americans voted for Donald Trump,” they echo many in Seattle by arguing Trump “disqualified himself to be the leader of the Free World by the way he ran his campaign.” And, like many before them, they implicate social media as part of the reason for electing “the least qualified” president ever. “In an effort to subvert democracy social media platforms were manipulated by domestic and outside sources of disinformation, apparently including some degree of foreign based hackers and operatives,” the release says.

While there’s no denying that fake news was rampant on social media in the run-up to the election, there is ample debate on how large of a factor it played in the election. That said, Facebook has since committed to try to stem the tide of bullshit on people’s news feeds.

More in News & Comment

Trans Pride Seattle seeks to strengthen the transgender and non-binary community. 
Photo courtesy of Gender Justice League
Trans Pride Seattle Continues Marching

In light of federal budget cuts, the parade that highlights marginalized voices survives due to community crowdfunding.

As the executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, Violet Lavatai (left) believes that YIMBY policies 
do not actually help the communities most in need of housing. Photo courtesy Tenants Union of Washington State
The Growing Power of Seattle YIMBYs

The tech-funded “Yes in My Backyard” movement thinks the housing crisis can be solved by rapid development, but does it only benefit those at the top?

Hidden River Farms is 100 acres of farmland in Grays Harbor County. Photo by Lucia Wyss
Sowing the Seeds of Mental Health

Suicide is an epidemic amongst agricultural workers, but young farmers and state legislators are working to find solutions.

Seattle and King County Officials Want a Safe Injection Van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

Western Washington Could See More Wildfires This Year

Lots of grass and warmer weather could make for worsening fire seasons.

An autopsy found that Tommy Le was shot twice in the back during an fatal encounter with a King County sheriff’s deputy. Photo courtesy Career Link
New Report Calls for Increased Transparency From King County Sheriff’s Office

The fatal shooting of Tommy Le served as a case study for researchers.

Charles Pillon sits inside one of the several buses on Iron Mountain. Photo by Caean Couto
The Last Days of Iron Mountain?

After battling King County government for decades, Charles Pillon may have finally lost the fight over his illegal 10-acre junkyard.

The public files into the City Council Chambers to voice their opinions prior to the vote to repeal the head tax. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Head Tax Repealed By Seattle City Council

After pressure from big businesses, city leaders cave on their plan to fund homeless services.

Most Read