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The day is finally here. After countless polls, a gruelling campaign and the eventual elections, Donald Trump will tonight be inaugurated in Washington DC, becoming the United States’ 45th president. Sure, it’s a massive event for the country, but people around the world will also be following the proceedings — and the four years to come — with bated breath.
While the world gives outgoing President Barack Obama a final send off (using the hashtag #ThankYouObama on Twitter), tonight marks a new era in American politics.
With that said, can you afford not to watch the big event?
Thanks to social media and modern technology, you needn’t have access to a television to follow or watch the inauguration live.
Trump and VP Mike Pence will recite their oaths of office around 6.30pm SAST on Friday (or 11.30am ET), but the inauguration itself will be a weekend affair, taking the form of balls, meetings and, in Trump’s case, tweeting.
Watch the official live feed of the inauguration below
Where else can I follow the events?
If you can’t catch the inauguration on telly, The White House will broadcast proceedings on its YouTube channel beginning at 6pm SAST (embedded above for convenience).
Twitter is also partnering with PBS to broadcast a special on the social network from 6pm SAST. You can visit its dedicated inauguration portal here.
Beyond video though, commentary will stream through major social media channels thick and fast.
Twitter already has a number of hashtags covering the inauguration, including #inaug2017 and #inauguration, which seem to be the two official tags. These can also be used on Facebook and Instagram. There are a number of supplementary tags being used on social at present, both pro- and anti-Trump.
Additionally, keep track of all the major accounts linked to Donald Trump’s big day — including the Trump family — with this curated followers list.
And if you’d like to experience the Capitol’s ambiance in virtual reality, USA Today will be covering the entire event from around 4.30pm SAST on YouTube. You’ll need a VR headset like a Google Cardboard to experience it in full. There will also be 360 degree content on the news channel’s YouTube page.
If you love opposing views and weighing up opinion, Reddit is your goldmine. The two primary Donald Trump-themed subreddits, r/The_Donald and r/Impeach_Trump will both likely be laden with community reaction post-inauguration.
Finally, if you’re with friends or can’t bear to face the events alone, you can play along with Reddit. The community has crafted a crowdsourced drinking game, that includes the lines “You’re fired”, “yuuuge” and of course, “wall”. We ill-advise taking this seriously, but we’re not your mother.
Beyond the inauguration
As we said, this will be a weekend affair.
On Saturday, a number of planned marches will take place including the Women’s March to the Capitol and White House. Around 200 000 people are expected.
In London, citizens are protesting Trump’s plans to build a wall along the Mexican border with the hashtag #BridgesNOTWalls.
— London SE1 (@se1) January 20, 2017
South African citizens are also planning marches against Trump. In Johannesburg, protesters will today march on the American Embassy in Sandton, while Cape Town will today see protestors march to Parliament.
As for Memeburn’s coverage, we will be sure to bring you social media analysis during and after the event.
Note: this is a developing story, and will be updated periodically…
Feature image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr