Trump’s Twitter activity has people concerned. Here’s why10/03/2020
Last night, President Donald Trump announced, via Twitter (how else?), that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Trump’s fateful tweet has, to date, garnered almost 900K retweets, 1.6M likes, and over half of million, often frantic comments, both in the form of condolences and told-you-sos. President Trump is usually the king of social media contention. Despite the social media frenzy that his announcement has provoked, the president has remained, uncharacteristically, silent.
Under normal circumstances, silence would not be cause for alarm. The White House is keeping us updated through normal news channels. The Guardian reports that the president is “fatigued but in good spirits” and the first lady has “only a mild cough and headache.” But these aren’t normal circumstances. We’re talking about a politician who lives on Twitter. On June 5, 2020, for example, the President sent out 200 tweets and retweets. That day, according to Factba, the president broke multiple account records, setting the record for the most tweets he’d ever sent in a day, the most tweets he’d ever sent in an hour (74), and the most he’d ever sent in a week (468).
What could Trump's Twitter silence mean?
All of this is to say, Twitter silence is clearly significant for President Donald Trump. And, as of this publication, Trump hasn’t lifted a finger to send a tweet for 16 hours and counting. We’re counting the seconds. Are you? Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve entered the age of Trump Twitter Silence.
The Washington Post has picked up on it. The publication was so concerned that they called up social media experts. Experts pointed out the fact that when Trump’s ally, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson came down with COVID, Johnson took to Twitter to give the country health updates. Given Trump’s passion for the social media platform, they don’t expect his silence to last. “I bet that once he has his feet under him, assuming his case is relatively mild, he’s going to be tweeting more than ever,” social media researcher, Darren Linvill, told The Post. Samuel Woolley, professor of propaganda research, concurs. “For him to give that up when he’s just more than 30 days out from the election, that would be unthinkable to me,” he mused.
And still, we’re waiting. What, we wonder, is holding him back?
Update: President Trump has finally broken his Twitter silence, 17 hours later, with a video message, explaining that he’s heading to Walter Reed Hospital, but “thinks he’s doing very well,” and just going to “make sure things work out.”
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