As recent uprisings halfway across the world have shown, social media sites can serve as the perfect way for incensed groups of people to air their grievances.
Not coincidentally, sites like Facebook can help people unite into a mob with force to be reckoned with, and it looks like this global trend could be hitting home.
Tonight’s impending government shutdown has prompted more than 6,000 Facebook users — many of them Washington-area residents — to RSVP to a public event entitled “If Boehner shuts down the government I am taking my trash to his house.”
Update: Co-organizer Jonah Goodman, 31, said Friday that the event, which has collected around 300 RSVPs per hour since he created it Wednesdy afternoon, first started as a status update on his page that attracted too many comments to ignore.
The status only stayed live for an hour or two before he realized he was onto something bigger.
Goodman, a Washington-based graphic designer, created a public event on Facebook because interacting with others would be easier. He said that his cause resounds with Washingtonians because a shutdown of local services, like trash pickup, goes back to the issue of “D.C. autonomy” when it comes to how residents’s taxes are spent.
“Speaker John Boehner is ready to shut down the government, including DC city services like trash collection. Well, if he won’t allow us to use OUR TAX DOLLARS to pick it up, maybe we should just BRING IT TO HIM,” reads the text on the event invite, organized by Goodman and his former co-worker Nolan Treadway.
The event listing has drawn people siding with both sides of the aisle to duke it out on the event’s wall, but so far, the Saturday event looks like it’s a go.
“Leaving trash curbside is not illegal,” Goodmain said.
(Note: A competing “Lets bring trash to Jonah Goodman, and Nolan Treadway” event has been organized, but so far, only 3 people have RSVP’d. Another counter protest, “If Reid Shuts down the Government I will pick up Boehner’s trash,” has attracted 8 people.)
So maybe it won’t be quite like what we’ve seen in the Middle East, but it looks like Americans are gladly taking the opportunity to literally trash-talk lawmakers — and each other. Goodman said protesters will use a Twitter hash tag Saturday morning, but he hasn’t figured out the logistics yet.
Have you seen any other events or accounts emerge in the midst of government shutdown coverage?
On Twitter, hash tags galore exist to help readers digest the onslaught of coverage from the 24-hour news cycle — the National Journal even created a dedicated Twitter account — but users willing to have a little fun with the shutdown are using #ifthegovernmentshutsdown tag to voice their hope for “Price is Right” marathons and designer shoes procured in hypothetical riots.
LOOTING PARTY AT MIDNIGHT GUYZ! BBYGRL NEEDS SOME JIMMY CHOOS #ifthegovernmentshutsdown
#ifthegovernmentshutsdown im gonna watch the price is right everyday
#ifthegovernmentshutsdown It shall be assumed I am now the ruler of all that is and ever will be.XD
Lastly, musically-inclined protesters are uploading their mildly catchy shutdown-themed songs to YouTube:Tweet
What else have you seen? Tell us by using #socialshutdown on Twitter, and we’ll post your replies right here. Are you protesting the impending government shutdown or seeing signs around town? Share your photos with us here or Twitpic them using #socialshutdown. We’ll post any photo replies with this hash tag into our user gallery.
Update: #govtshutdownpickuplines are heating up — pun intended, I guess, on Twitter:
Let's debate this on the floor. #govtshutdownpickuplines