Though traditionally known as a women’s style site, Refinery29 is continuing to position itself as a political force by taking a vocal stand against Trump era policies — this time, by opposing the controversial Graham-Cassidy bill.
Refinery29 announced on Monday it will exclusively tweet healthcare-related stories leading into the pending vote on the bill, an attempt to overturn Obamacare led by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. If passed, the proposed policy will restrict coverage for thousands of Americans by cutting billions of dollars in federal healthcare allocations. The bill holds several ramifications for Refinery29’s largely female readership, including increased premiums for medical care for pre-existing conditions and reduced funding for Planned Parenthood.
For Refinery29, the Twitter strategy allows it to simultaneously take a pointed stance, while focusing on service journalism by sharing content that highlights the impact of reneging Obamacare. The posts are a mix of existing healthcare articles and new pieces chronicling the possible impacts of Graham-Cassidy. Refinery29 will refrain from sharing all other content on Twitter until the vote is made, which is mandated by end of the week. (Refinery29 will continue sharing timely news that is unrelated to the bill on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.)
Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29, said the Twitter strategy is a reflection of the site’s content evolution — which recently included a push for long-form features — on particularly salient issues like women’s health.
“We’ve been experimenting with Twitter as a space to drive the conversation forward around the issues that are core to our audience,” she said. “Everything from women’s reproductive rights and free speech on college campuses to what’s really driving fast-fashion and the latest plastic surgery trends.”
As of Monday afternoon, the tweets — which include hashtags like #KillTheBill and #StandWithPP, in support of Planned Parenthood — include topics like a young women’s cancer misdiagnosis and abortion laws per state. The posts also share information on how to call senators slated to vote yes for the policy in order to persuade them otherwise.
This is a time to stand up, fight back, call your senators and make your voice heard! pic.twitter.com/qty5f0KgDB
— Refinery29 (@Refinery29) September 25, 2017
Similar to peers like Teen Vogue — which, in addition to developing a column devoted to politics, launched a “Woke Letter” this year — Refinery29 has maintained a momentum of challenging President Donald Trump’s policies since he took office in November 2016. For the Women’s March on Washington, Refinery29 created a video supporting marchers, sent buses filled with staffers to the event and launched a social media campaign that advocated for issues including reproductive rights.
Since January, Emmerich said, Refinery29 has continued to build the message of equal rights across gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation that permeates throughout the site.
“Refinery29 has built our reputation by pushing boundaries of representation for all women in media, and our audience has grown to expect this from us,” Emmerich said. “We believe that informing our audience about these issues is part of our responsibility as a media organization, whether that’s sharing personal stories about how policies impact real people or arming our audience with easy ways to take action.”
So far, there have been few responses to the Twitter takeover, but those on the platform have all been positive thus far — including user @mrdevereauxx’s tweet, which read, “This is what every magazine and news source needs to do! Applaud!”