In politics, personal insults are usually dismissed as inappropriate ad hominem attacks. On Twitter, they’re anything but.
The #TriggerALiberalIn4Words hashtag, in which users list facts or ideas that they believe will “trigger” a liberal in under four words, took over the Twittersphere for a brief moment of unrestrained mudslinging and angry rebuttals.
I disagree with you. #TriggerALiberalIn4Words
— Jim Treacher is a dumb pseudonym (@jtLOL) March 4, 2018
Men can’t be women. #TriggerALiberalIn4Words
— Riya sharma (@riyasharma266) March 4, 2018
Tweets demonstrated a surprisingly large range of content, encapsulating everything from simple facts to philosophical beliefs, partisan politics, and personal values. Users often added memes or pictures to support their point.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) March 4, 2018
Liberal Twitter users soon got wind of this movement, and launched a counter-attack aptly titled #TriggerAConservativeIn4Words. Many discussed the ineffectiveness of the original hashtag, relating it to conservative tactics they perceived as simimlar.
— Simon Schwartz (@SimonSchwartz54) April 16, 2018
Users quickly noted the larger implications of the movement and what it revealed about both parties. Some used it to further their position…
The #TriggerALiberalIn4Words hashtag revealed that many conservatives on Twitter won’t listen to liberals out of resentment. The #TriggerAConservativeIn4Words response reveals why that resentment exists.
Meanwhile, the rich keep getting richer. https://t.co/FIWoXEDp1L
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) March 4, 2018
… while others took a non-partisan position and pointed out the problems with the hashtag’s phrasing and language.
— Avi Woolf, WTF Conservative🌍 (@AviWoolf) March 4, 2018
So: who won?