How does the President use Twitter

Donald Trump, the Twitter President

He doesn't drink alcohol. He's never touched it. This is how Donald Trump explained it to Fox News television last fall. The background: bad experiences in the family, Trump's older brother drank himself to death.

But people can develop a weakness not only for hard drinks. There are things that they devote themselves to more than is good for them. The New York Times recently declared what it believes to be the president's personal weakness: "His vice is Twitter."

The drug attention

Trump, writes the New York Times, is obsessed with quotas. She reports on the front pages of large magazines in his office that are dedicated to him, some of which are decades old, and of his pride in being named Person of the Year 2016 by "Time Magazine".

And now, as a digital continuation of the personality cult: Twitter. "He has found a medium that grants recognition in every fraction of a second and whose reach is measured in real time. It creates ratings for every single sentence you write," says the newspaper.

Hair Force One - Trump as the internet sees him

"Think like champions!"

Sentences on Twitter are usually short. Likewise, with a maximum of 140 characters, the messages as a whole. That is little, but depending on the message it can be enough. It just depends on what you write. Earlier, in 2011, when Donald Trump tweeted the first of his now over 34,000 tweets, there was enough space because the messages were not particularly complex. "Think like champions," he encouraged his followers at the beginning of his Twitter career. Or always being aware that they could be at the beginning of something bigger.

That, recalls the newspaper Politico, was the time of the friendly Twitter user Donald Trump. But then he discovered something else: that Twitter is wonderfully suitable for verbal abuse. Obama was "the worst president in US history," he wrote, for example, he was "weak," "bad," or "terrible," in short, "an incompetent leader." Lists have long existed on which the grossest insults are collected - it are long lists.

Frequent page changes

In his presidency, Trump shows that politics and spontaneous emotions are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary: Hardly any politician has expressed himself as roughly as he. And certainly no one in anything remotely comparable. That his office demands a certain restraint is a completely alien idea to Trump.

He changes sides carefree, swapping the role of the private citizen for that of the president within minutes. Arnold Schwarzenegger had as governor of California "done a really bad job and an even worse one in Apprentice (editor's note: a TV show)," tweeted Trump on February 3, 2017 at 12:24 p.m.

"Iran is playing with fire," he tweeted just four minutes later. Less than half an hour later, he verbally shoots at the participants in the worldwide rallies directed against him. These are "professional anarchists, crooks and paid demonstrators".

In between, at 12:34 p.m., he comments on the explanations given by the Australian Prime Minister Turnbull. He had previously stated that the now legendary phone call between him and Trump was - unlike in the media - very polite and not ended abruptly. "Thank you," wrote Donald Trump. The media spread fake news about this conversation, but Turnbull told the truth. "Very nice!" Trump can already boast of having enormously expanded the office of president with his tweets.

Populist appeals

Twitter, writes the New York Times, once stood for the hope of global dialogue. That is over. Today the platform is mainly for agitation. According to the newspaper a few days before Trump's assumption of office as US president, it was precisely this place that was created for him: "For someone who is primarily concerned with external impact, Twitter is the veneer for populist appeals without the annoyance of standing up for them have to."

But maybe Trump still has to stand up for his tweets. The sharpest criticism to date of the style of his Twitter statements came from outgoing CIA President John Brennan. Shortly before Trump took office, he wrote that spontaneity is not a quality that protects national security interests. It is not just about the person Trump. "It's about the United States of America."

Repentant Trump voters

And there is something else that could bother Trump in the future: the number of his supporters. Almost a third of Trump's followers on Twitter could be so-called fake followers. This is how it can be read on the control instrument Due to the complex and at the same time uncertain survey procedure, the figure should be treated with caution, but it could indicate a trend.

Trumps account is currently growing. But another one is also growing: @Trump_Regretts. This is what people say who voted for Trump and who have since regretted it. When The Guardian newspaper reported on this account at eleven o'clock on Sunday, it had 169,000 followers. A few hours later there were already 183,000. There may be some fake followers among them, but the account represents a tendency that Donald Trump is unlikely to like.