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Anti-Obama Facebook Status Messages Pop Up After Election

This story was written by Jesse Trimble, University Daily Kansan

Students update their Facebook statuses constantly. Many complain about tests, papers, or, since the onset of the winter season, being sick. But post-Election Day a new array of statuses appeared as students across the country who didnt vote for President-Elect Barack Obama used Facebook to share their discontent.

Former University of Texas backup lineman Buck Burnette was among those who vented frustrations via Facebook status.

According to an Associated Press article, the lineman updated his Facebook status, quoting a text message he received after Obamas victory: all the hunters gather up, we have a n&%#er in the whitehouse.

Burnette was dismissed from the team last Wednesday. The Associated Press reported that the team said Burnette violated team rules but would not elaborate.

Burnettes Facebook had been deleted on Thursday, and he apologized for the racial slur.

Venting through Facebook statuses is common on college campuses; the University of Kansas is no exception.

Jesse Vaughn, Mound City senior and president of College Republicans, dressed as The Messiah Obama for Halloween and had been updating his Facebook status frequently since the election. As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, Vaughns status read: Jesse V is ready to fight for America and against Obama and the Democrats.

Vaughn said Facebook was a way to express his frustration.

Its hard to deal with it when you have such a crushing defeat, Vaughn said. Facebook has become a way for me and others to put your beliefs out there.

Vaughn specified it wasnt just with status updates, but also with pieces of flair, which is a Facebook application that allows students to post pop culture- or politically-themed buttons on their Facebook page.

David Perlmutter, author of Blogwars and professor of journalism, said updating a status needed to be taken seriously. There is no way to permanently delete something on the Internet, Perlmutter said.

My opinion is people have been saying dumb things since there have been people, he said. This is the first time we have technology that people can post it. Its not just that technology has changed, but the culture has changed.

Perlmutter said research indicated that people were more willing to say derogatory things when they werent face-to-face.

Thats why people send e-mails. They can say something nasty and hateful that they wouldnt say to someones face, he said.

Ryan Zeckser, Overland Park junior, voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Soon after he heard Obama was elected, Zeckser updated his status to 4 years is a looong time to stay mad. So my full support goes to Obama and his Staff. God Bless America.

Zeckser said complaining about the election was like crying over spilled milk, so he decided to make the best of it.

When it comes to something as important as the leader of your country and arguably the free world, you have to give him your support, because hes the voice of our people, not the other way around, Zeckser said.

Perlmutter said that before Facebook, MySpace and blogging, people used something else to catalog their thoughts.

Im old enough to remember that a diary is something you kept it in a drawer with a little key on it, he said. You kept your feelings or thoughts you had that werent publicly acceptable, to yourself.

Perlmutter said this generation updates its Facebook pages or blogs instead of writing in a diary.

TJ Haynes, Shawnee junior, cast his vote for Obama last week and updated his status in support of the president-elect.

Haynes said he was happy to hae finally voted for a president who he wanted in office.

Its just my way of saying Obama is my man, Haynes said. Obama is the man for my future that kind of thing.

Haynes said he updated his status when something major happened, because it was the only way he could share his thoughts about what was going on.

I dont update it as often as some do, Haynes laughed. Like, Oh, I just brushed my teeth.

Bill Walberg, El Dorado Hills, Calif., senior, said he was hurt after his candidate lost. After the election, his status read: Bill Walberg is very disappointed in my country.

Walberg said he loved Obama as a person, but didnt agree with him on political issues.

He said that he updated his status because he didnt think Obama was ready and that the United States took a big risk that could affect the next four years.

Ive actually calmed down from that viewpoint and moved on, he said.

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