The Art of the Tweet
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before speaking with members of the armed forces via video conference at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
The question many Americans are asking about President Trump’s tweets is, “what does that mean?”
How should citizens reflect on President Trump’s tweets? In what kind of light should they be viewed?
Twitter has many different types of accounts. News, politics, humor or just normal people with a desire to be heard.
The social media site has changed the way most Americans find and digest their news, consequently giving politicians a new platform for campaigning and marketing. President Trump, arguably, has used it more than any other politician, tweeting twenty-thousand more times than former President Barack Obama.
Trump’s presidency has brought a new element to Twitter, aiming to become a first-hand news source by having the power to make change and voicing it out through Twitter.
If American citizens are going to see President Trump’s Twitter as a legitimate source, his account must act as one. News companies are meant to provide the facts with unbiased commentary, giving their readers a chance to analyze the story on their own to find their own personal truth.
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
In President Trump’s Nov. 24 tweet citing a phone call from TIME magazine saying he was “PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year'”, he said he passed on the opportunity. However, a day later, TIME Magazine tweeted a response saying that the President was incorrect, and they do not reveal the choice for “Man of the Year” until the publication date.
The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.
— TIME (@TIME) November 25, 2017
If we can’t trust whether or not what the President is saying is factual, how can his Twitter feed be viewed as a legitimate news source? Is he actually trying to break some sort of information, or is he just another person trying to publish his opinion of what he deems right or wrong?
To determine authenticity, Twitter users almost always need to know whether or not the president has a previous conflict of interest on the subject.
For example, President Trump’s tweets about the National Football League’s player protests during the national anthem:
The NFL is now thinking about a new idea – keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
President Trump has had previous run ins with the NFL. First, when he was an owner in the United States Football league (USFL) and sued the NFL for monopolizing football. Second, when his attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 failed.
Since the President may have a grudge against the NFL, people could see his tweets and wonder if he really wants a change, or if he just has a vendetta against someone.
So when it gets down to it, we can’t look at President Trump’s Twitter as a news source, and we can’t assume his opinion as fact. Does this mean we look at his page as a humor account?
Seeing as he is the President, the answer is obviously no. That doesn’t mean he can’t be funny, but we do have to be able to discern between serious and not.
Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
While Trump’s Oct. 1 tweet calling Kim Jung-Un “Rocket Man” may be funny, it is blatantly attacking a foreign power that has the potential to push the U.S. into a nuclear war, and that could have been the remark that flicked the domino.
Whether or not we like Trump’s Twitter account, it doesn’t look like he will be changing his style anytime soon.
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017