Its over for Trump on Twitter: the US presidents account has been banned from social media forever. Quite a moment, because Twitter was not just a social medium for Trump. Among other things, he used his account to criticize, test policies, fire people and threaten them.
The president used Twitter for over a decade. With nearly 90 million followers, he was just outside the top 5 of most popular accounts. “Twitter was his most important mouthpiece,” says American connoisseur Markha Valenta. “Twitter has played an essential role for Trump in circumventing existing media and directly addressing its supporters. Through this social medium, his followers developed a personal relationship with him, which would not normally have been possible.”
He was also able to launch test balloons and policy views on the medium. “If he got a lot of reactions, he knew he had something good.” Then he developed a campaign around it in the real world, says the American connoisseur.
Over the past decade, Trump has sent over 57,000 tweets, on average about 15 per day, and the tweet that brought the most jokes was the one from 2017 that made #covfefe trending. Probably the president wanted to type the word press coverage, but in no time social media was already full of jokes: “Did Trump fall asleep while tweeting?”
Also after a few hours all domain names with covfefe were sold out and someone bought a license plate with the word on it.
The October tweet announcing that Trump and his wife Melania had been tested positively on corona, is his most slick and shared tweet. The president disappeared from Twitter for 14 hours because of his contamination, which fed the speculation that he was not doing well. Finally, after that Twitter silence, he made it clear that there was no dirt on the sky, and said he “felt better than 20 years ago”.
Much turmoil arose about a May Tweet from Trump about disturbances in Minneapolis due to the death of the black American George Floyd.
Trump said in that tweet, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He used the same words as Walter Headley, a police chief in Miami in 1967, who was repeatedly compromised because of his behavior against the black community. There was a lot of criticism of that tweet and the decision of Twitter and Facebook not to delete the message. By the way, Twitter hid the tweet.
Other subjects also went viral. Like a photoshopped photoshopped photo and a real photoshopped photo of Trump (on the body of movie character Rocky Balboa), a resignation and the wall between Mexico and the US.
Trump also expressed doubts about many things, such as the fact that his predecessor Barack Obama was born in the US. “This was one of Trumps first political test balloons on Twitter. When he received a lot of comments, he decided to insist that Obama was not legitimate as president,” says Valenta. “Thats how he really became visible politically.”
Trump has now acknowledged that Obama was born in the US.
And a situation that almost escalated in 2017, following comments from the North Korean Foreign Minister about missiles that could reach the US mainland. Trump responded with a tweet calling leader Kim Jong-un “small missile man” and threatening North Korea.
Trump was expelled for 12 hours last Wednesday because in his tweets he did not distance sufficiently from the violent mob that stormed into the U.S. Congress. After that, Trump continued to tweet anyway. Among other things, he wrote that he would not go to the inauguration of Biden and praised his supporters. That was the straw for Twitter: the company decided to banish Trump because of “the risk of further incitement to violence”.
Trump also uses @POTUS, the presidents official account. But theres a small chance hell ever be able to tweet through that account again, says TCCEIT tech editor Joost Schellevis. Of course, you can create a new, secret account. Twitterers already have enough ideas:
He can still log in to Melanias account, others suggest:
Tweets from Trump led to an increasingly wider call to Twitter to remove incorrect tweets or warn them.
“ In the 2016 presidential election, untruths were able to circulate almost without problems,” says Schellevis. “That had to be different, Twitter also thought.” Many of Trumps tweets were warned, for example because they were misleading about the outcome of the elections.
Trump will find another way to communicate his views with the outside world anyway. He will first find another social mediumsearch, expect Valenta. A Twitter alternative is Parler, which is especially popular among right-wing users and is also under pressure. “But if that doesnt work, Im not surprised if he sets up his own media channel. As long as he can bring out his own message.”