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#Hashtagivism: 5 Partisan Boycotts Throw Social Media into Turmoil

Created: 30 January, 2017
Updated: 17 October, 2022
4 min read

In the internet age, being an activist is easier than ever.

#Hashtagivism is on the rise, jumping from cause to cause and targeting companies like Starbucks and Uber, and events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the boycotts are coming from both sides of the political spectrum and are in one way or another a response to the current national political climate.

Let’s take a look at some of the #hashtagivism boycotts going on right now:

1. #DeleteUber

On January 27, Trump signed an executive order that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for a period of 90 days and suspends the United States' refugee system for a period of 120 days. The action received strong rejection from immigration advocates and citizens around the country.

People took to the streets and airports to protest Trump’s latest action, and in New York, they were joined by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, who refused to pick up passengers at JFK Airport as part of the protest. That lack of cab drivers caused people to turn to Uber, which activated their automated “surge-pricing.” Uber decided to manually turn off surge-pricing, causing a lot of New Yorkers to question the company’s motives.

Citizens around the country started using the hashtag #DeleteUber to express their dislike. As a response, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick promised that the company would create a $3 million fund to help drivers affected by the executive order, providing help with immigration and translation services..


2. #BoycottStarbucks  #DrinkStarbucksToFightBigotry  #AdiosStarbucks

The Seattle-based company is being targeted by both sides of the aisle. Following the executive order that bars Syrian refugees due to the fact that “entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States,” Starbucks announced a plan to hire 10,000 refugees in over five years in the 75 countries around the world where they do business.

Conservative’s lashed out at CEO Howard Schultz for considering that he puts refugees’ well being before Americans, and started the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks. In response, people who sympathize with the refugee cause came up with the hashtag #DrinkStarbucksToFightBigotry and support Schultz's decision to stand up against Trump.


South of the border, Mexicans are protesting Trump’s actions against Mexico with the hashtag #AdiosStarbucks (goodbye Starbucks), which calls for a boycott of all American companies and promotes consumption of made-in-Mexico products. This might be unfair to the coffee giant, since Schultz expressed support for Mexico in the same letter he pledged to give jobs to 10,000 refugees.


Just when you thought the biggest possible coffee debate was pour over vs. nitro.

3. #GrabYourWallet

Donald Trump is a businessman, so it would make sense that people wanting to boycott him would go after his companies, and the companies that have ties with him.

The hashtag #GrabYourWallet surged after Inauguration Day, and according to their website, it’s targeting every retailer that does business with the Trump family and/or sells Trump family products. The long list names 42 retailers to boycott, 20 entities to consider boycotting, and 10 entities that despite some connection to Trump, are not being boycotted at the moment.

Among the named companies, you can find Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, Walmart, and Uber.


4. The Oscars

Last year, the Academy Awards faced strong criticism and a boycott for not having diversity amongst its nominees and voters (#OscarsSoWhite). This year, despite the industry's’ continued condemnation of President Trump, actors and directors from foreign origin are planning to boycott the awards in response to the latest immigration orders.

Iranian-actress Taraneh Alidoosti announced she wouldn’t be attending the ceremony in response to Trump’s immigration policies. Days later, Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who’s nominated for his film, “The Salesman,” announced he wouldn’t be attending either.

Farhadi’s statement of not attending was backed by Australian director George Miller, a major winner in last year’s Oscars. Other sources confirmed Farhadi wouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. because of the travel ban.


5. Superbowl LI #boycott #superbowl

If you believe everyone is counting the days until the major football event takes place, think again. Several people are calling for a boycott on this year’s Super Bowl, because of the ties that the New England Patriots have with the Trump family.

During the presidential campaign, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, came under fire for expressing their support for Donald Trump. Even coach Bill Belichick is said to be close friends with President Trump. Now, many Bostonians and other football fans are planning to keep their TVs off during Sunday’s game to make a statement.

Interestingly, a lot of conservative viewers are planning to boycott the Super Bowl’s halftime show, because of the NFL’s choice to have Lady Gaga perform, along with some of the members of Hamilton’s cast.

C’mon Man!

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