Published December 27, 2017 / Updated August 6, 2020
What Resistbotters Wrote About in 2017
A year of resistance in one chart.
Resistbot launched on March 8th, 2017 to enable U.S. citizens to contact their elected officials via messaging apps and SMS texting. Through December 21st, over 4.11 million Resistbot users have sent 6.65 million fax pages, 1.43 letters via e-delivery, and over 155,000 letters via postal mail.
We analyzed a sample of these messages (anonymized to protect user privacy) sent between March 16th and December 25th, 2017, organized them by topic, and visualized how frequently they appeared over the past year.
As we noted back in September, nearly half of all messages sent via Resistbot are related to healthcare. With each attempt at repealing Obamacare (the AHCA passing the house in May, the rise and fall of BCRA in June and July, and the Graham-Cassidy bill in September) Resistbotters voiced their opposition, leading to near-record levels of message traffic at the time. One common thread between all of these messages was the topic of Medicaid. With each attempt to repeal the ACA came threats to cut back funding on Medicaid, a fact not lost on Resistbot users.
Other Notable Trends This Year
- The frequency of messages related to resignation, impeachment, and the 25th Amendment all peaked around the aftermath of the Charlottesville protest.
- References to Jeff Sessions appeared in Resistbot messages throughout the year. Related topics include the ongoing Russia investigation, rescinding DACA, and escalation of the failed war on drugs.
- On a sadder note, messages related to gun control peaked in frequency immediately after the Las Vegas and Texas mass shootings.
- The lead-up to the FCC vote on rolling back Title II protections safeguarding Net Neutrality lead to all-time highs in messaging traffic. From December 7th to December 13th, 87% of messages sent via Resistbot were related to Net Neutrality. This was driven by lots of word-of-mouth sharing and some unexpected fans on social media:
While its difficult to predict what will happen in 2018, two things are certain: Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th, and Resistbot will be there. Text RESIST to Resistbot on Telegram, Messenger, or to 50409 on SMS to contact your elected officials today, or donate to keep the ‘bot going.