21:46 GMT18 September 2020
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    US Senator John McCain was met with an unexpected reaction to his call for more people to follow him on Twitter.

    "We're only 74 Twitter followers away from 3M — spread the word & help us reach this big milestone!" he said in a tweet posted on December 4th.

    Ironically, he would probably have been past this "milestone" by now if he hadn't posted that.

    The reaction was outrage. People started unfollowing the senator en masse, posting calls to unfollow in the comments section. As of the time this article is written, McCain has only 2.98 million followers, way to go for the 3 million milestone!

    ​But why would that happen? Is it simply a reaction to vanity? Well, it looks like the situation is a bit more complicated. Just before posting the scandalous tweet, the senator voted in favor of a major tax reform bill.

    The bill, which has its own hashtag, #GOPTaxScam, has been criticized for multiple pitfalls, according to the Verge. These include tax reductions for the rich and powerful, more taxes for graduate students, more taxes for middle-class families and, as icing on the cake, a permission to drill for oil in an Alaskan wildlife refuge.

    Apparently, Americans got outraged by the bill, not the tweet. However, they have no effective form of influencing the lawmakers or somehow else protest the excruciating reforms, The Verge speculates.

    "Unfollowing McCain when he asked for followers can be seen as a visible form of social activism toward something that the majority of Americans no longer have any direct control over," the website said.

    "Judging by the responses to this thread you're gonna need more than 74. I just unfollowed you since you voted to throw 98% of Americans under the bus on Friday, but will be happy to follow again if you vote no on the final #GOPTaxScam," one user wrote.

    The reply-to-retweet ratio to the post is outstanding, with almost 14 thousand replies and less than 1 thousand retweets. More than 17 thousand followers already unfollowed the Senator's account. The post earned its share of 2,640 likes, though.

    According to New York Times, the controversial tax bill has been fiercely attacked by Democrats, who said it was "impossible" to review and pass a 500-page piece of national legislation in such a short time.

    The bill was favored by US President Donald Trump, though.

    "Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate. Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!" he wrote on his own Twitter account.

    The bill's claims have been contradicted by a number of studies, including one from Congress's official economic scorekeeper. However, the Republicans remain adamant in their new piece of law.

    "I'm totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill," says Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader and Kentucky Republican. "I think it's going to be a revenue producer."


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    reaction, internet, tax bill, tax cuts, Twitter, John McCain, United States
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