On Tuesday, November 18, 2016, Donald J. Trump won 304 electoral votes; giving him an electoral college victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first woman to win the popular vote in a US Presidential contest.
The election was especially divisive. For the first time, Twitter became a major player in the contest to decide the next leader of the free world. And, it turns out, one unfiltered man could best a team of hundreds of Twitter analysts and consultants on Hillary’s campaign staff.
Technology is pivotal for communication and in a presidential race, the digital echo of one man’s opinion managed to drown out the rest of the voices. With every tweet, President Trump sucked the oxygen out of the room.
President trump is the least popular president in recent history
Technology helped lead President Trump to victory in 2016. But, the supporters he galvanized with his 1am twitter barrages only represented a vocal 51% of the country. Some could argue it was less than 51%, but his electoral college victory proves that at least 51% of the country’s geographical territory sided with the 45th President.
At his inauguration, President Trump earned the title as the most unpopular President-Elect to assume office in our nation’s history. Details of the many surveys conducted during this time-period can be found in this piece from Vanity Fair.
Dissatisfied voters need a peaceful voice
To prevent rioting, it’s critical that dissatisfied citizens gain a meaningful voice in the national conversation of how our country is governed. Just as technology proved pivotal in the election, it’s proving to be even more crucial for organizing peaceful demonstrations on both sides of the political spectrum.
Organizing and speaking with one voice is the best solution for impacting change
The problem is that a Facebook post or a tweet from an average person on social media lacks the political power to effect change. And, when people exert energy / vent in a way that lacks meaningful results, the anger level only rises.
As Martin Luther King once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
Using technology to amplify a message and provide a healthy outlet to anger, frustration and pain
Thankfully, 21st century tech startups have proven to be more than shots in the dark at multi-million dollar buyouts. Some, like WeBot, incubated by NYC-based growth accelerator Flatiron Collective, are about positive social change. By harnessing the power of social media, and some pretty cool technology behind-the-scenes, WeBot is able to alert passionate citizens about events happening nearby.
By knowing when a rally or media event is taking place in their local area, protesters have the ability to organize in their hometown. So many things happen on a daily basis, but there isn’t a concerted effort to alert people ahead of time. Instead, a few people show up and communicate a disorganized, fractured message.
WeBot’s Founder wanted to give people a voice and a local community to engage with. I find this personally exciting because it gets people out from behind the screens and into the streets when it matters.
I’m hopeful that our country will be able to use tools like this to express themselves in a more coherent, impactful way. Individually, our voices are weak. But together, we can make sure our message is heard and dissatisfied people know they aren’t alone in this fight.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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