December 7, 2016
Don’t worry, we’ll only be talking about Donald Trump’s Twitter account for the next 4-8 years, it’ll be over like *that*
by Simon Reichley
Continuing the spasm of Twitter-inspired anxiety, Charlie Warzel and Lam Thuy Vo at BuzzFeed have done a deep dive into the land of TrumpTweets™ in order to reverse-engineer the president-elect’s news media diet. The authors examined 26,234 TrumpTweets™, all sent between June 1st, 2015 and November 17th, 2016. From that vile ichor, they pulled 2,687 links, which they then counted and classified according to their sources. Assuming that Trump’s tweets reflect his reading habits (which is no sure thing for the Ouprespo president-elect), we now have a passing estimate of where the guy gets his news:
Our analysis revealed a media ecosystem that appears to largely reinforce and affirm the views publicly expressed by Trump and his closest advisers. The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinion.
Not what I would call a groundbreaking revelation, but there you have it. Donald Trump reads Breitbart. If you don’t believe me, you can check out the kind-of-clunky infographic. Perhaps you will be surprised to find that Donald Trump only linked to a single InfoWars article.
If you really want to get your hands dirty, you can check out the raw data at the Trump Twitter Archive, where you can hate-read years and years of TrumpTweets. You can search the whole thing, or peruse the highlights. For example, Trump has never tweeted the word “pregnant” or “affirmative.” Zero tweets mention “reptiles.” Twelve tweets include “pizza.” A quick search for “help me” revealed this beautiful gem from 2013:
“@robocosby: help me @realDonaldTrump I am depressed”. Keep your chin up!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2013
In a related note, “sad” appears 324 times.
Simon Reichley is assistant to the publishers and office manager at Melville House.