Trump first joined Twitter back in 2009, and almost immediately people started to notice just how bizarre his Tweeting habits were. It was as if he had hooked up his internal monologue to his Twitter account and just let it loose. His Tweets range in content from the…
It was a pen, in case you were wondering
And self aggrandisement:
For several years, none of this really mattered. Back when he was just a C List celeb it was seen by most as a bit of a joke…but this man will soon be POTUS, Leader of the Free World. Surely, many followers thought, not even Trump would do something so ‘unpresidented’ as to continue with these tirades when he became President Elect?
Of course we all now know that post election it was business as usual for Trump on Twitter. But should we be worried about Trumps Tweets?
Even before winning the US election, Trump was already a powerful figure, whose Tweets could and have affected people’s lives. Take the case of Lauren Batchelder, whose crime was to have the audacity to accuse trump of not respecting women.
Then the backlash against Lauren Batchelder began. As the Washington Post noted:
“Her phone began ringing with callers leaving threatening messages that were often sexual in nature. Her Facebook and email inboxes filled with similar messages. As her addresses circulated on social media and her photo flashed on the news, she fled home to hide.
“I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” said Batchelder, now 19, who has never discussed her experience with a reporter until now. “He was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”
Even a year later for Batchelder, “the abuse continues. Five days before the election, she received a Facebook message that read: “Wishing I could f—ing punch you in the face. I’d then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and i know where you live, so watch your f—ing back punk.””
Trump supporters on Twitter can be pretty terrifying: take, for example, these Tweets made during Meryl Streep’s marvelous take-down of Trump at the Golden Globe Awards:
What a nice man. Luckily for Streep she can afford protection. Others are not so lucky.
Today, Trump has more than 17 million followers on Twitter. The fact that even when just a candidate and TV personality, he deemed it acceptable to attack a young woman who criticised him is bad enough, but what effects are Trumps’s Tweets having in the wider real world, now that he has become the President Elect?
Trump watchers will probably remember that time he Tweeted about General Motors.
This single Tweet caused Shares in General Motors Co to fall 0.7%
Once again this had an immediate effect. Shares in Toyota fell about 0.4%. All this is shows a potential conflict of interest for businessman Trump. With one Tweet he can manipulate the markets, damage rivals and harm business reputations.
Then there is the delicate world International Relations, surely even the Umpa Lumpa Elect would not be so irresponsible to harm them with a Tweet?
Trump had already caused a diplomatic firestorm by breaking protocol with a telephone call to Taiwan’s leader. This actually led to China’s foreign ministry lodging a complaint with the United States. What is even more disturbing is that, according to people close to Trump, he had been planning to make the call all along, in full knowledge of the potential for a diplomatic backlash from China.
And then, weeks later, he turned to his favorite social media platform, again:
Original Tweet actually said “Unpresidented’ much to the hilarity of the Twitterverse
The Trump decided to Tweet this, even though the US military had already announced it had reached an understanding with China for the return of the underwater glider. But Trump had to make it seem that he had a hand in this with a follow up Tweet.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed that “through direct engagement with Chinese authorities, we have secured an understanding that the Chinese will return the UUV to the United States,” according to USA Today.
But the Chinese Defence Ministry lamented the “inappropriate” choice in the US to “dramatise the issue”. A situation worsened by the Tweets.
Then there are the barbs he keeps firing at Mexico about the ‘Wall’:
Tweets that have angered both the President and an Ex-President of Mexico.
This is pretty awful, undiplomatic stuff from a man who will soon become the most powerful in the world. But it becomes even more frightening when you consider, as with his call to Taiwan, that they may not be just random and ill-thought out, but deliberately planned to provoke a reaction. And, or course, it is just a coincidence that China and Mexico are two of the biggest exporters to the USA.
We mustn’t ignore his attacks upon any media that displeases the self-appointed God Emperor:
In today’s post truth world, where the truth is deemed fake news and fake news seen as the truth, these Tweets only serve to further muddy the waters. The influence that Trump has; the ability to shape the conscience of his followers; is truly frightening. Never forget that Control of the Media is one of the 14 Points of Fascism.
Should we be worried about Trumps Tweets? We would say a resounding yes. His influence on social media is astounding. The fact is, his Tweets have very real and lasting real world effects that will only become more enhanced when he finally is sworn in as the next President of the United States. He is surrounded by advisers, and yet still appears to post personally and without consideration. Is this how he will attempt to manage his Presidency?
Are Trumps Tweets really as random as they seem, or could they be coldly calculated to cause as much disruption and distraction as possible, all the while feeding Trumps immense ego?
Do Trumps Tweets show a deeper, psychological problem? Who knows? But we ARE worried.