Do Tweets Have Power Over Politics?


Tweets from Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump / Twitter)

Ashton Jah, Writer

He has thousands of followers and countless opinions, so why not express them with the entire world?

Without a doubt, microblogging and its means of informing has become a prominent essentiality in modern life, and recently, politics. Used by community members and politicians alike, captivating an audience through Twitter has created an unnecessary ripple in the nature of politics.

Typically used to deliver news and updates to users, Twitter has generated the attention of many citizens, journalists, and politicians. In recent years, the platform has been known to deliver updates in response to the world’s current events.

Created on the belief of “[giving] everyone the power to create and share ideas and information…without barriers,” Twitter and other social platforms have become a home for many politicians, such as United States President, Donald Trump, known to insensitively call out and elaborate on personal and political beliefs, whether the information is factual or not. This, ultimately, impacts the nature of politics tremendously.

Being one of the first President to campaign his race on Twitter, Trump seemingly set the standard of his online personality through his personal Twitter account.

Shooting messages out almost instinctively numerous times each day, Trump’s commentswhich range from “Crooked Hillary” to “Little Rocket Man—stem from their 280-character message, hiding behind a digital wall of poking fun and soliciting hate.

But his purpose? Many believe it is so he can connect with his followers and place his opinions in front of the world, and the world sure is listening.

“[A]nyone with the authority like that of President Trump should be careful with what they say because they do have a very large influence,” Bob Jones History teacher Caleb Rogers warned. “While some of President Trump’s tweets are his own, I think a large part of [his tweets stem from] a public relations team that knows how to bring attention to the person they’re working for.”

Most recently, Trump has tweeted in reply to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about having “a much bigger and powerful [button] than his.”

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018

This specific tweet was broadcast on many networks around the world, even leading some commenters to believe Trump was inexplicitly invoking nuclear war over social media.

In this day in age, an image is defined by status. And status seems to be defined by one’s Twitter feed.

Through social networking, politician’s images are being tested; their loyalty and approval rating depends on their connections because, as stated by The Atlantic, “a candidate without a Twitter is a losing candidate.”

Some of the backlash Trump has been receiving, as stated by Rogers, is that “no American politician up to this point has ever been so open and outspoken [nor] utilized an avenue like Twitter to communicate to the people.”

Twitter has allowed both politicians and citizens to highlight certain events, seemingly becoming the safe haven for many political and social campaigns such as the “#MeToo” campaign, which brought attention to many assault cases against women. Twitter has also sparked the outspoken nature of certain politicians on their opinions of certain policies. The key to mastering politics is now by captivating a large audience through Twitter.

Most of Trump’s tweets have been noted because of their conflicts with legal arguments, and recently, there was a situation with a judge who cited one of Trump’s former tweets where he supported the DACA program back in September.

Twitter is ultimately effective to highlight and inform– to connect and discover.  In the grand scheme, as Rogers stated, “While Twitter is a great platform to express political ideas, we have to remember that most people on Twitter are [simply] people.” Fortunately, the world’s actions are not yet decided by Twitter; however, the world is indeed listening.