EDITORIAL: New Takes on Twitter: How President Trump Revolutionized Social Media

President Donald Trumps tweeter feed is photographed on a computer screen in Washington, Monday. April 3, 2017. The National Archives is telling the White House to keep each of President Donald Trumps tweets, even those he deletes or corrects. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)


President Donald Trump’s tweeter feed is photographed on a computer screen in Washington, Monday. April 3, 2017. The National Archives is telling the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump’s tweets, even those he deletes or corrects. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Undoubtedly, social media is playing an increasingly more intrusive role in our day to day lives. The United States presidential election of 2016, a deviate from the “standard” federal election, opened up a new platform for political expression on social media. This new development is  attributed to President Trump’s unique campaign approach- his direct outreach to the Americans via. Twitter. Trump’s tweets have made their way to a number of headlines, inevitably evoking controversy from media and ultimately reforming the Americans’ perceptions of social media and politics.


During his campaign and initial months of his presidency, President Trump’s usage of social media has proven to be highly efficient in terms of reaching out to millions of people nationwide. In fact, shortly after his victory last November, Trump told CBS News that “social media has more power than the money [the Clinton campaign] spent.” Trump’s utilization of Twitter as a direct platform to directly state his viewpoints on issues, goals as president etc. was critical to his unexpected victory and was frequently brought up in the news, as social media has not been used to this extent in politics before. These “raw” tweets come directly from President Trump; the tweets are not censored or impacted by media and bias beforehand.


While this direct approach appears to be seemingly efficient in reaching out to mass numbers of people, this “directness” can only go so far. After all, 150 characters can only express so much… With less than 150 characters to express his thoughts, Trump has to condense the full meaning of his words in an as concise manner as possible. This resulting ambiguity of his tweets leaves the media to decide the ins-and-outs of what each tweet exactly means. As we know, media has the ability to distort accuracy and reality. This can also lead to misinterpretations of Trump’s intended meaning. While some news platforms praise Trump for his candidness and firsthand outreach for Americans, others use his tweets to criticize President Trump for his outspokenness and arbitrary claims.


The main question is… What is the ultimate impact of this development on a national and global level? Prior to Trump’s new strategy implementation, Twitter was reputed as a typical social media platform, used predominantly by teens and celebrities. When President Trump decided to start sending out celebrity-style tweets during his campaign and now during his presidency, Twitter’s discussion points have extended to the realm of politics. At an increasing rate, people began to ardently express their political views even more than before on social media. As a social media user myself, I can definitely see the increasing presence of politics on social media, whether it be on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. Many celebrities, one being American actress, Meryl Streep, have also openly shown their political views through social media, contributing to the increasing political role of social media. This new form of political expression enables Americans to further exercise their First Amendment rights on the internet, whether it be in outright, open ways or through a subtle like or retweet.


This unprecedented strategy deemed vital for Trump’s victory last November. His goals were defined in an as explicit way as possible, his presence was publicized even more, and he was inarguably the “talk of town”, or rather the world. This approach, initially used for campaigning, perpetuates as Trump continues to adopt this strategy as President- tweeting the latest news from Oval Office, updating Americans on the progress of the nation’s plans, stating his opinions etc. His tweets have made the headlines and have served as a basis for the media’s interpretations of the 45th President of the United States. This new approach has channeled a sense of direct communication, allowed media to have greater influence, and revolutionized the role of social media in politics. Most importantly, this development has opened a circuit for Americans to express their political views on social media. This increasing role of social media in politics is a result of the advances in technology in the 21st century… It is only reasonable that our political systems adapt to the growing necessity for technology and utilize them for their benefits