President of the United States
|Storming of the U.S. Capitol|
Donald Trump's presence on social media attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in 2009, having over 88.9 million followers. He frequently tweeted during the 2016 election campaign and as president, until his ban in the final days of his term. Over twelve years (from the creation of his account in May 2009 until his permanent ban in January 2021), Trump tweeted around 57,000 times, including more than 25,000 times during his presidency. A spokesman for Trump said that Trump's tweets were considered "official statements made by the President of the United States."
Trump often posted controversial and false statements on his Twitter account @realDonaldTrump. An investigation by The New York Times published November 2, 2019, found that, during his time in office, Trump "retweeted 217 accounts that have not been verified by Twitter," at least 145 of which "have pushed conspiracy or fringe content, including more than two dozen that have since been suspended by Twitter." On July 16, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to censure him for "racist comments" he had tweeted two days previously. Four Republicans supported the measure, while 187 voted against it. His advisors warned him that his tweets may alienate some of his supporters. In a June 2017 Fox News poll, 70 percent of respondents said Trump's tweets hurt his agenda. In a January 2019 UMass Lowell poll, 68 percent of all respondents aged 18–37 said Trump tweeted too much.
In the name of "public interest," Trump's Twitter account remained unmoderated for most of his presidency. In 2020, Twitter began hiding or adding fact-check labels to any of Trump's tweets that spread misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, or falsely suggested that postal voting or electoral fraud may compromise the presidential election. After Trump was defeated by Joe Biden, Trump used Twitter to repeat these election lies, which were among Trump's most widely shared tweets and part of Trump's broader effort to undermine the election results. Twitter began labelling those posts as disputed or misleading.
On January 8, 2021, Trump was indefinitely or permanently banned from Twitter, Facebook, and several other platforms after he was accused of inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the electoral votes, the last step in formalizing Trump's loss to Biden. Twitter interpreted Trump's posts could pose further risk of violence and permanently suspended his @realDonaldTrump handle, followed by the official account of his campaign (@TeamTrump) shortly thereafter. Allies of Trump who posted on his behalf, including Trump campaign digital director Gary Coby, also had their accounts suspended. Twitter also deleted three tweets by Trump on the @POTUS handle and barred access to the presidential account until Joe Biden's inauguration. Additionally, Facebook blocked and later banned Trump from all of its platforms indefinitely (including Instagram). An analysis by the research analytics firm Zignal Labs determined that the social media bans on Trump and some of his allies in January 2021 led to a 73% decline in the spread of election-related misinformation.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (July 1, 2017). "My use of social media is not Presidential – it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 2, 2017 – via Twitter.
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@realDonaldTrump frequently spread misleading, false and malicious assertions...For the most part, @realDonaldTrump and its 280-character posts effectively allowed Trump to work around the Washington media establishment and amplify the message of allies.
- Maegan Vazquez, Christopher Hickey, Priya Krishnakumar & Janie Boschma (December 18, 2020). "Donald Trump's presidency by the numbers". CNN.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- Karni, Annie; Rogers, Katie; Haberman, Maggie (March 18, 2019). "'Be Weak & Die!' Seeking Clues Behind Trump's Weekend Twitter Barrage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
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- Nate Rattner (January 13, 2021). "Trump's election lies were among his most popular tweets". CNBC.
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- Collins, Ben; Zadrozny, Brandy (January 8, 2021). "Twitter permanently suspends President Donald Trump". NBC News. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
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- Lonas, Lexi (January 9, 2021). "Twitter bans accounts for Trump campaign, digital director". TheHill. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
- Reuters Staff (January 9, 2021). "Twitter deletes new Trump tweets on @POTUS, suspends campaign account". Reuters. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
- Clayton, James; Kelion, Leo; Molloy, David (January 7, 2021). "Facebook blocks Trump 'at least until transition complete'". BBC. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- Elizabeth Dwoskin & Craig Timberg (January 16, 2021). "Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump and some allies". Washington Post.