@realDonaldTrump, the Twitter thread that went from the random daydreams of a reality TV star to the baton of a US president, died Friday. He was not quite 12 years old.
The provocative grip was given by a New York real estate mogul who used it to help him become America’s 45th president.
It started with a May 4, 2009 tweet promoting Donald Trump’s upcoming appearance on David Letterman’s show.
He died more than 57,000 tweets later, with Trump using some of his latest posts on the powerful platform to empathize with a pro-Trump mob that has besieged the halls of Congress in a deadly assault as lawmakers were on the verge to certify his defeat.
The account saw its demise when Twitter announced Friday it was permanently removing @realDonaldTrump’s listing, fearing Trump would use it for “yet another incitement to violence.”
Trump retorted that he “will be building our own platform in the near future.” We will not be SILENT! “.
Trump, a novice politician but a seasoned salesman, has realized the power of social media in a way few other politicians have.
And he wielded it with power never seen before to diminish his opponents, shape elections, and shape reality – at least in the eyes of his supporters.
At first @realDonaldTrump seemed pretty innocent.
Its owner, who had prolific experience in marketing casinos, real estate, and even Oreo cookies, primarily used the platform to promote his books, media appearances, and give friendly plugins to his friends.
But as Trump began to play seriously with a race for the White House, he became a tool for burning opponents and shaping his nationalist philosophy, “America First”.
He deployed his venom equally, whether it was insulting famous enemies (Rosie O’Donnell was “rude, rude, odious and stupid”) or using xenophobia to slander a country (the Great -Brittany “tries to cover up its huge Muslim problem”).
A new tool
Peter Costanzo, then director of online marketing for the publishing company that publishes Trump’s book, Think Like a Champion, helped bring Trump to the platform.
Twitter was still in its infancy at the time.
But Costanzo, who later came to work for the Associated Press, saw the then 140-character message-based platform as a new tool the real estate mogul could use to boost sales and reach an audience. wider.
Costanzo had seven minutes to deliver his speech to Trump – “Not five minutes, not 10,” he recalls in a 2016 interview.
Trump liked what he heard.
“I said, ‘Let’s call you @realDonaldTrump – you’re the real Donald Trump,’” Costanzo recalls. “He thought about it for a minute and said, ‘I like that. Let’s do it. ‘”
Other than Trump’s family, no one seemed beyond his anger on Twitter. Trump has attacked Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, 2016 political rivals, current administration staff, former administration staff, the Republican Party, and cable networks.
@realDonaldTrump was prolific: on days his owner was particularly agitated, such as in the midst of impeachment proceedings, he tweeted over 100 tweets.
In its most popular tweet on October 2, 2020, @realDonaldTrump announced that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had contracted the coronavirus.
The post got 1.8 million likes and nearly 400,000 retweets, according to Factba.se, which tracks the president’s social media habits and comments.
The account was used to announce layoffs. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned of his dismissal in a tweet.
The narrative threatened the adversaries in the most colorful terms. Before Trump “fell in love” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un through secretly exchanged letters, Trump used Twitter to dub him “the rocket man” and vowed to respond with “fire and fury” if the authoritarian dared to attack the United States.
@realDonaldTrump frequently spread deceptive, false and malicious claims, such as the baseless ideas that protesters at Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were being paid by liberal philanthropist George Soros and that the November election was rife with fraud electoral.
Trump often tweeted long after midnight and before dawn, a cathartic outlet for grievances (Witch Hunt! Crooked Hillary, Russia, Russia, Russia, FAKE NEWS, etc.)
For the most part, @realDonaldTrump and its 280-character posts have effectively allowed Trump to bypass the Washington media establishment and amplify the Allies’ message.
Sometimes @realDonaldTrump stumbled. Trump deleted 1,166 tweets, and in his last few months on the platform, 471 tweets were flagged by Twitter for disinformation, according to Factba.se.
In one of his most memorable Twitter stumbles, Trump sent out a cryptic tweet after midnight in May 2017 (then deleted) that read, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.
The gibberish set the Twitterverse on fire with speculation.
According to the theories, the chief tweeter fell asleep in the middle of the message and the man who once boasted of having “the best words” was adding a new word to the lexicon to correctly describe the collusion between Democrats and the press.
The mystery has never been solved.
“Why not more?
Sam Nunberg, a longtime – and now former – Trump adviser, said in the summer of 2011, after Trump announced he was not running in 2012 but wanted to stay relevant, his team decided to start use social media to strengthen their profile.
They chose to focus on Twitter, where he already had an account and several hundred thousand followers. Nunberg recalls sending Trump daily reports on the growth of his subscribers.
Trump sometimes returned it with handwritten notes – “Why not more?” “Why so slow?”
They celebrated when they hit the million mark.
“Twitter has definitely played a pivotal role in building Donald Trump as a political figure in Republican politics and he also liked him very much,” Nunberg said. “Remember he used to say, ‘I wanted to own a newspaper. It’s great, it’s like a newspaper without the losses. ”
Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr took to Twitter shortly after the platform banned @realDonaldTrump to note that it continues to allow Iran’s supreme leader “and many other dictatorial regimes” to use the platform, but could not accept his father.
“Mao would be proud,” mocked Trump Jr.
Ultimately, @realDonaldTrump offered an instant glimpse into Trump’s state of mind for more than a decade, a period in which the Apprentice TV star transformed into the 45th President of the United States.
Later, when historians seek insight into Trump’s thoughts on the issues of his time – from the treatment of actress Kristen Stewart to co-star Robert Pattinson to the president’s views on Russian interference in the 2016 election – the first stop can inevitably be one of the many digital archives that have kept @realDonaldTrump’s tweets.
With Trump, whatever the topic, there’s always a tweet for it.