Anti-Trump Demonstration at SU Emphasizes Reliance on Social Media

Organizer of an anti-Trump demonstration, Marisa Frigoletto, at Syracuse University relied on social media to exercise her First-Amendment rights.

By Aubrie Tolliver SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) — There was no chanting, yelling or fighting.

In the latest of the Anti-Trump demonstrations to hit central New York, Syracuse University students sat in silence in the middle of the campus holding just signs. Signs, they believed, speak for themselves.

Signs, they believed, speak for themselves.

“What better way to show how bad of a man he is by putting his words right in front of them,” said Marisa Frigoletto, the organizer of the protest and a sophomore music major at S.U. “We don’t have to say anything.”

Written on the signs were many of  the offensive and objectionable quotes said by President-Elect Donald J. Trump.

Social media carried a big role in this year’s presidential election. Each candidate, Trump and Senator Hilary Clinton, was present on social media; some of the times posting Tweets aimed at demeaning each other’s platform and character. Frigoletto said she relied heavily on social media, as well, gathering information, coming up with the idea for the rally and then organizing the event.

On Thursday, she created a Facebook page for the protest and shared it with just around 500 students and people she knew from around the area. By the time the protest began, it had been shared over 1,000 times.

“Without social media, I don’t think we would have had as big of a turnout,” she said.

There were anywhere from four to 15 people sitting on the lawn during the four-hour protest.

David Rubin, a professor at Syracuse University who teaches First Amendment law, says social media has benefitted Americans by making it easier to organize and come together, exercising their right to peacefully assemble.

“Social Media has made it much more efficient for individuals who share a view on what ought to be protested against, to know how to connect with each other, and then to decide on a course of action, then meet,” Rubin said.

Today, by simply  typing “Anti-Trump Rally,” in the Facebook search bar, over 20 events come up from around the nation.

However, Rubin does caution that although social media, such as Facebook, is a great way to organize, it is not the best format for information gathering, which is where social media runs into problems.

“It frequently makes no discrimination between information that is true and information that is false,” said Rubin. “It’s easy to spread truthful information but the same goes for false information.”

Frigoletto said she got most of her information about the election and each of the candidates from social media.

“I think there is strength in putting things online,” she said.

Social media played a role in organizing the silent protest. (c) 2016 Aubrie Tolliver

Marisa Frigoletto, a sophomore music major at Syracuse, sits silent in protest of President-Elect Donald Trump. (c) 2016 Aubrie Tolliver

A Syracuse University student takes pictures of the Trump signs. (c) 2016 Aubrie Tolliver