NEW YORK, N.Y. – The 2016 presidential campaign has played out on Twitter as much as it has on TV, in convention halls and diners, rallies and watercoolers across the country.
There were, of course, memorable tweets, such as Hillary Clinton’s “Delete your account” and Donald Trump’s photo of himself with a taco bowl and the message “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
But Twitter is nothing without its other 310 million users, who have created a flurry of popular hashtags this election season, supporting, fighting, calling out or simply making fun of the candidates. Here’s a look at some of them.
Trump called his rival a “nasty woman” during the third and final presidential debate, and the insult became an instant internet meme. Women on Twitter and beyond embraced the put-down as a badge of pride — businesses even began selling t-shirts, tote-bags and embroidered pillows with the moniker. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, for one, tweeted at Clinton the day after the debate that, “From one #NastyWoman to another, you were an inspiration last night.”
This hashtag took off after the political polling agency FiveThirtyEight published an electoral map showing what the election could look like if only men voted. Given that Trump’s supporters are more likely to be male, the map showed an easy Trump victory. There was another map, too, showing what might happen if only women cast the vote, and this one showed an easy Clinton landslide. Still, the hashtag that took off was one calling for the repeal of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote in 1920.
A response to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again,” plus the many retorts to that from the likes of President Barack Obama and others saying that America is “already great,” this hashtag comes courtesy of the neighbours to the north, Canada. An ad agency called The Garden created the campaign, which calls on people to submit videos and messages to Americans feeling low about the election.
“Seems America could use some cheering up right about now. As their closest friends and neighbours, we thought we should take a minute to help remind them that no matter how bad things might seem at the moment, there are lots of reasons why we think they’re still pretty great,” writes the agency.
As for responses, they ranged from the bookish “Gatsby, Huck Fin, Moby Dick, Scarlet Letter, Grapes of Wrath, Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye … got literature down ” from Twitter user @MichelV69, to the historic “Your declaration of independence is one of the most beautiful documents ever written” from user @SmallLady0, which was retweeted 617 times and favourited some 2,300 times.
Lock her up, of course, is what Trump and many of his supporters would like to do with Clinton if Trump wins the election. “Lock her up” is a common chant at Trump rallies and a popular hashtag among his supporters, who’ve taken to Twitter to provide the many reasons they believe Clinton belongs in jail rather than the White House. These include her use of a private email server and being, as one user put it, a “criminal crook.”
During the second presidential debate, Trump asked Muslims to “report when they see something going on,” likely referring to suspected terrorist activity. Twitter users, naturally, took the prodding to heart, and the hashtag took off. Some were funny, such as “I’d like to report that quinoa is overrated and looks gross” from user @EmanHAly. Others, meanwhile, sought to make statements against Trump or Islamophobia.
Reach Barbara Ortutay on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BarbaraOrtutay