"Thank You Bernie" Trends On Twitter, But Its Message Is Far From A Sanders Swan Song

Twitter was all aflutter after Sen. Bernie Sanders' speech Tuesday night, in which he vowed to continue leading his movement until the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this July. Shortly afterwards, a new hashtag began trending on Twitter. So was #ThankYouBernie a social media swan song for the first major democratic socialist presidential candidate in history? Monitoring the hashtag on TweetDeck showed that between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. ET on June 9, the vast majority of #ThankYouBernie tweets appeared to have been sent out by Sanders supporters, although every once in a while, one popped up with #ImWithHer attached.

But the overall positive response seems to be split roughly down the middle between laudatory praise for the senator from Vermont and vows to keep fighting on until Philadelphia. Aside from the heartfelt messages of support and gratitude from supporters — who seem to run the gamut among Democrats, Independents, and Greens — I started seeing a pattern in which #ThankYouBernie came with other hashtags, like #SeeYouInPhilly and the favorite of Sanders stalwarts everywhere, #BernieOrBust.

Far from a swan song, #ThankYouBernie appears to be used as a cry to rally around Sanders and keep supporters engaged before the gavel drops in Philadelphia. Twitter profiles were using the hashtag to talk about voting problems in California, like provisional ballots provided to mail-in voters, and also were attempting to raise funds for election watchdog organizations.

Anybody delving deep into #ThankYouBernie would probably agree that, based on the raw volume of tweets, Sanders and his supporters aren't ready to concede the Democratic nomination just yet. Instead, they are staying engaged, networking, and keeping their movement going forward into what will likely be the most challenging stage of the election cycle yet for them. Looks like social media will remain a crucial nexus for engagement and organizing until Philadelphia, and beyond, for Sanders and his supporters.