Expressing Views About the 2016 Election on Social Media

Although everyone in America has been talking about this election season nonstop, on Tuesday, November 8, it felt like the election was the only topic people were discussing. As I scrolled through my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds, nearly every post included pictures of “I Voted” stickers, feelings about #ElectionNight and the #Election2016, and encouragement for others to go vote before polls closed. It seemed to me that everyone on social media was posting about the election.

After reading statistics, I realized that it was true – the election was a highly talked about topic on social media, especially as the election season drew to a close on Nov. 8. Forbes reported on Election Day that over 10 million people in the U.S. shared on Facebook that they’d voted, and there were 716.3 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the election. Twitter recently posted an illustrative heat map of the U.S. on Nov. 8, displaying an enormous amount of U.S. users who tweeted with the #IVoted hashtag.

A few tweets from the day after the election.

It was interesting to see posts from the users of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as they continued to share how they were feeling while watching the election unfold. As the election results rolled in, several telling Twitter trends emerged, including #RIPAmerica, #AmericaIsOverParty and (my personal favorite) #UnitedStatesofAnxiety.
Hillary Clinton was performing poorer-than-expected, and people shared their disappointment and fear on Twitter as they watched her lose the candidacy to Donald Trump. According to CNN, Twitter reported that more than 75 million tweets related to the election were sent by the time Trump was announced President-elect at 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Tweets about the election continued to surge the day after the election, and the hashtags #HesNotMyPresident and #NotMyPresident trended on Twitter. On Nov. 9, USA Today reported that more than 78,000 tweets had gone out with the #HesNotMyPresident hashtag, and thousands of tweets included the #NotMyPresident hashtag.

Instagram users also began posting black boxes to express their dismay about the election results. This trend has spread to other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, with users either posting or changing their profile picture to a black box.

A lot of people also cleaned out their Facebook friends after the election, according to the Chicago Tribune. Some users didn’t want to see posts about the election results or the controversy it has caused, and unfriending those with different views has been an easy way to avoid their posts.

As social media users may have noticed, election results are still being discussed all over social media. People are quick to share their views on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and may not think about the consequences before they hit “share”. According to PJ Media, the CEO of PacketSled was recently put on administrative leave after posting several extreme posts on Facebook.

Many Americans are very upset over the results of this year’s election, and they have turned to social media to share their frustration. Social media users have always used platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share what they’re thinking, and they’ll continue to share what they’re thinking about the election despite the potential controversy their posts may cause.

If you’re like me, watching everyone post their views on social media makes you want to jump in and share yours as well, but at the same time – you don’t want to end up like the PacketSled CEO (or lose any of your followers). Fortunately, the Observer recently published a useful set of tips on how to professionally handle the aftermath of Election 2016 on social media. I highly suggest reading it before the next time you feel the need to post about what happened on Nov. 8 – it may help you avoid an uncomfortable amount of conflict.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism