What Is A "Twitter Blackout"? People Are Protesting Donald Trump's Victory In A Meaningful Way

A monitor is pictured in a kitchen area at tech company Twitter's office space in Santa Monica, California, on April 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN ALCORN / AFP / JONATHAN ALCORN (Photo credit should read JONATHAN ALCORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JONATHAN ALCORN/AFP/Getty Images

In response to the election of the United States' racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, new president-elect Donald Trump, thousands of Twitter users are blacking out their profiles and replacing their avatars with simple black squares to protest against the election results. The protest, which appears to have started and gained the most traction on Twitter, has also spread to other social media networks like Facebook and Tumblr as well. Users who updated their avatar on Twitter included various messages against the new president-elect, like the hashtags #NotMyPresident and #ImStillWithHer to declare their continued support for Hillary Clinton. 

Trump's unprecedented win in the election Tuesday night was a shock for many, primarily due to his openly racist and sexist rhetoric throughout his campaign. Trump's candidacy was frequently declared to be over due to his innumerable media gaffes over the last year and a half, but the seemingly unbeatable candidate came back from the brink of defeat each time. Now in light of his electoral win, people are highlighting that rhetoric as evidence why they cannot support his presidency. "Hate won. Racism won. Homophobia won. Islamophobia won. Xenophobia won. Misogyny won. Donald Trump is #NotMyPresident and I am ashamed," posted one Twitter user Wednesday morning. 

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/charcoalskiess/status/796334630613852160]

Another reason that the protest seems to have caught on so quickly is that Clinton actually won the popular vote in the whole country, but simply lost the Electoral College. This was always a real possibility — Republicans typically win the majority of states, since most states with a small number of electoral votes are traditionally very conservative. However, the shock of Clinton's lose, particularly in light of her support in the popular vote, has called into question the legitimacy of the electoral system. 

The last hope for Clinton supporters is that the electoral voters who actually choose the president will vote against Trump, even though their state's popular vote chose him. Trump won 276 electoral votes, so only seven electors would need to swing their votes in order to put Clinton into the White House. This is extremely improbable for two reasons — only a handful of faithless electors have ever existed, and candidates handpick their electors so Trump's electors are likely ardent supporters who are unlikely to swing their vote. However, it's the final hope for a majority that is slowly realizing a hateful minority has allowed a hateful man to be elected president. 

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