From Filibernie to Twitterbuster: The Digital Sit-in of the Tax Deal

Flickr user origamidon

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


A few days after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became the world’s biggest Twitter trend with his 8.5-hour filibuster of the Obama/GOP tax deal, the #filibernie has morphed into a loosely-defined “digital sit-in”  promoted under the new hash tag #Twitterbuster. A few sample tweets:

@imwithbernie: okay twittetarians…it’s now or never. show the #filibernie support. #twitterbuster = digital sit-in, RT #twitterbuster

@normavela: If you support Bernie Sanders’s opposition to tax cuts for the wealthiest, tweet & retweet #filibernie #twitterbuster

@SoundPolitic: I called my Senators to stand with Bernie Sanders. Took about 15 minutes. I KNOW you’ve got the time too! #filibernie #twitterbuster

@Heidiko44: Robin Hood was right #filibernie #twitterbuster

Beyond the obvious outrage over giving tax breaks to the rich during a budget crisis, the twitterverse’s fascination with Sanders’ speech might have something to do with mashing up two vastly different types of media. There’s something delightfully jarring about promoting the definition of long-form oration, the filibuster, on a  platform constrained to 140 characters. One of Friday’s most popular tweets attempted to sum up the entire address: “@SenatorSanders spoke for 8.5 hours in defense of 98% of Americans.”

For highlights from the monster speech that started it all, check out my summary here.

UPDATE: On Monday night, Sanders appeared on Countdown With Keith Olbermann and was attacked by Stephen Colbert, who proposed that instead of taxing the rich, we support the poor by purchasing and eating their children. Below the jump Rachel Maddow recaps his speech and makes the case that the Beltway media exhibited a bias in its spotty coverage of the event.

Update #2: On Tuesday, Twitter user @imwithbernie launched an eponymous website, imwithbernie.com, that allows users to easily highlight and tweet any part of the transcript of Sanders 72,000-word oratory.

Last updated on 12/14/10 at 1:35 Pacific

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate