A new survey found that Donald Trump has half the Twitter followers that former president Obama does, but Trump has twice as many fake followers as Obama, as 29% of the current president’s followers are not real people.
Newsweek reported, “Some 29 percent, or around 15 million, are fake accounts, according to a survey by Gallup, and his following of real people is closer to 37 million. By comparison, Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama has 15 percent fake users among his 103 million followers….In fact, the mainstream media he criticizes as “FAKE MSM” are the most effective in disseminating his messages with 76 percent of people hearing about his tweets via other news outlets.”
Is Trump’s Twitter account powerful?
The White House and Trump have overestimated the power of Trump’s Twitter account. Since Trump is now acting his own communications director, his Twitter account is the main source of White House statements and (dis)information from the president. Less than 10% of Americans follow Trump, and only 4% follow and read Trump’s tweets. The White House is relying on a communication platform that over 90% of the country doesn’t read, and only 26% of Americans have. Trump’s Twitter account is not powerful, but the media is the key to getting Trump’s tweets out to a broader audience.
Most Americans hear about Trump’s tweets through the media
According to Gallup, 76% of Americans hear about Trump’s tweets through the media. Cable news would be doing the country a favor if they employed the strategy that MSNBC and this website both utilize, which does not involve covering every single Trump tweet. Since the president’s Twitter account is the White House communications office, there are times like when Trump meddles in the Russia investigation, that his tweets are newsworthy. The vast majority of his tweets, which are not written by Trump himself, are not newsworthy.
The press needs to be more selective in what they choose to cover in Trump’s tweets. If the media stops talking about Trump’s tweets three-fourths of the country will not hear about them.
With nearly 30% of Trump’s followers being fake, and his tweets written by White House staff, it is time to end the Trump Twitter scam and only cover his tweets when they are newsworthy. Twitter is Trump’s last entry point into unlimited free media. It’s time to pull the plug on Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association