Donald Trump claims he wouldn’t be president without social media

donald trump social media phone twitter darron birgenheier flickr

In a world devoid of Twitter and other social media platforms, would Donald Trump be the president of the United States? Probably not, and that’s coming from the man himself.

Speaking in an interview on Sunday with Fox Business Network, the US President explained that without social media, he may not have won the presidency.

“Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he told the interviewer.

“I doubt I would be here if weren’t for social media, to be honest with you (sic).”

Trump claimed that social media allows him to bypass what he typically labels as “fake news” and talk directly to his followers.

At the time of writing, that’s a swathe of over 40-million people, or more than 10% of Twitter’s user base.

“When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it,” he noted, not actually citing Microsoft Bing we believe.

But the world is now well versed in Trump’s relationship with Twitter, and vice versa.

The US President has often used the social network to air his views, which have often been criticised by users on the platform.

Last month, Trump came under fire for heightening tensions with North Korea after a tweet that seemingly insinuated violence against the country.

“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” Trump wrote.

Trump’s entire campaign has also come under the spotlight, specifically for Russian involvement in Twitter and Facebook ads posted prior to the elections. These may have had a profound influence on Trumps success.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump: who’s the next US president of social media?

Nevertheless, while Trump is no doubt one of Twitter’s star users, he is by no means the first president that honed his brand using social media.

Barack Obama is regarded as the first “social media president” and remains the third-most followed user on Twitter.

Obama also regularly interacted with other spheres on the internet too, hosting a Reddit AMA in 2012 too which received over 23 000 comments and 216 000 points.

But while Obama was president when social media was only just sinking its roots into modern internet-driven culture, Donald Trump reigns at a time when social media is a key formative agent.

Feature image: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker, former editor


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