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

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.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Local restaurants have had to adapt to new rules during the COVID pandemic. Pictured: JP’s Tavern in Federal Way’s turkey club sandwich with a side of tater tots. File photo
State lawmakers propose bill to fast-track the governor’s reopening plan

Bill’s sponsors want to give legislature control over COVID-19 restrictions.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Fentanyl. (Courtesy photo)
King County reports record numbers of drug overdose deaths

Preliminary toxicology testing shows most overdose victims used multiple types of drugs.

Jay Inslee takes the oath of office for his third term as governor. (Governor Jay Inslee)
Governor Inslee: We are going forward toward a ‘new normal’

At the start of an historic third term, the governor is charting a course out of the pandemic.

The ballistic-missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) arrives home at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a strategic deterrent patrol in this 2015 file photo. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura/Released)
What could Biden’s nuclear policy look like?

King County sits only miles away from one-third of the deployed U.S. nuclear arsenal.

State representatives respond to roll call during an online meeting before their swearing in on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Other state representatives respond to roll call over a virtual meeting before their swearing in on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Click to unmute: Legislators prepare for an online session

State lawmakers will work remotely as they tackle COVID-19, economic recovery, police reform and more.

File photo.
King County to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts

“16,000 adults must be vaccinated every day for six months,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Photo by Elvert Barnes/Flickr
Seattle renters seek cheaper rent in surrounding cities

One factor includes the ability to work remotely, according to housing economist.

Most Read