Shocker! The 200 Million Views Number For Trump’s Tucker Carlson Interview Is Misleading

It will surprise absolutely no one in the thinking universe to learn that while former president Donald J. Trump has been bragging about a “blockbuster” interview that might hit 200 million views for his Tucker Carlson interview, the reality is much different.

The ‘views’ did pass 200 million. But that’s not how many people watched it or even how many times it was watched.


To be fair to Trump, who is to be arrested on this day, Elon Musk runs the app formerly known as Twitter in a capriciously private way while also bragging about engagement being the best ever, while supplying no actual data to support those claims. So there’s little doubt Musk sold Trump a load of delusional baloney about X/Twitter, and Trump is nothing if not prone to believe anything that makes him feel good. The view numbers are pretty incredible, at more than 200 million the last I checked. But “view” numbers are meaningless.

The why:

The Wrap did a break down of why exactly these numbers are misleading, noting first of all that views are counted as “’Anyone who is logged into Twitter who views a Tweet counts as a view’… In other words, a view is counted even if you didn’t actively look at the post… even if all it did was cross your screen while you were scrolling. Which by the way is a very likely occurrence on X’s algorithmic “For You” tab… especially if that tweet features content by users Twitter owner Elon Musk personally wants to boost.”

There’s a lot more, but the point is Elon can count a view any way he pleases, and it doesn’t actually mean something was watched. It was, perhaps, seen flying by because it was pushed to all users. That counts as a “view.” Much like Musk uses Twitter to push his own account onto all users, along with other far right content that is often abusive and hate filled, Carlson’s “show” is pushed on Twitter.

The Wrap says the bottom line is “Twitter “views” tell us next to nothing about the popularity or virality of a given post, because views have no relationship to how much actual engagement the post got.”

The actual engagement numbers tell a “much different story… (I)f we assume engagement is a likelier means of getting an accurate count than passive “views,” the interview almost certainly did not end up “overshadowing all of Television programming on Wednesday night,” even if ratings were halved by Trump’s absence, as Brian Stelter predicted.”

And it’s not just The Wrap. Forbes also called the numbers misleading, and by the time Forbes got to the factcheck Thursday morning, the “views” were “more than 150 million.”

Forbes says the view count doesn’t mean much anymore, other than the number of users logged in who saw the tweet. (As the Wrap noted, Elon pushes content he wants to push.) Here’s the key information, “X used to make the number of video views public, but appeared to get rid of that feature in May—and even then, it referred to the number of people who watched at least two seconds of a video with at least 50% of the video player in view, rather than the whole video. That means it’s likely far fewer users actually watched Trump and Carlson’s video than the number that viewed the tweet.”

As of 7 AM Thursday, “The number of direct engagements with the post is significantly lower than the number of views, with 148,000 reposts and 536,800 likes.”

Some more numbers

On Truth Social, Trump has 6.38M Followers. In 2020, Trump lost the election to President Joe Biden, but he did get 74,223,369 votes. It’s a stretch to believe that he is suddenly being watched by more people than voted for him in 2020, before he was a 4 x indicted criminal defendant, on a platform that is not used by all people no less.

Tucker Carlson’s low book sales are another example of the real world versus the cloudy cover of delusion that hangs low over X/Twitter these days.

In the end, Trump is a blowhard egomaniac who appeared on a “show” hosted by a man whose ego got him fired from a network on which he helped to push defamatory lies about the 2020 election on a new platform that is owned by someone known for pushing conspiracies and claiming he has accomplished things that haven’t happened.

Denying real numbers is what landed Trump on the path to being arrested today

We are not likely to ever get real numbers from this lot, after all, lying about numbers is exactly why Trump is going to be arrested today.

Who won here? Well, Trump refused to attend a debate hosted by the RNC while everyone who did debate had to sign a pledge to support him if he becomes the nominee. Trump absolutely won last night in the sense of appealing to Republican voters and dominating the Republican primary, but he didn’t do that because he was on X/Twitter. Many of his supporters aren’t even on X/Twitter. Trump won last night because he owns the Republican Party, and that was clear by the mini-me Trumpers trying to out ignorance and pro-Putin him on the stage last night.

It really doesn’t matter how many people “viewed” the Tucker Carlson interview with the former president, because those views are misleading propaganda and they also have no relationship to actual voting. What the view numbers are good for is exactly what Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and Tucker Carlson most need: Propaganda.

Sarah Jones

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