Feb 16, 2017

How — and when — Trump tweets

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Since becoming president, Donald Trump has tweeted 109 times from his trusty (and very unsecure) Galaxy S3. Monday was the first day since entering the White House that Trump did not tweet before 8:15 AM. That's notable because his Twitter usage has some very clear trends...

Expand chart
Data: Trump Twitter Archive; Chart: Lazaro Gamio, Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

A closer look at the times that Trump fires off a tweet reveals some insight into how he spends his days as president and his never-ending fascination with media coverage…

  • A morning tweeter: He's tweeted 70 times from 6 AM to 9 AM, the time slot for his favorite cable news shows, Morning Joe and Fox & Friends, and his prime time for news consumption. That's 64% of his tweets as president. It's not a new trend: 47% of his tweets as president-elect and 33% as the GOP nominee came during that 3-hour block.
  • He really does watch the shows: And he takes them to heart. At least 15% of his tweets so far during the presidency were directly in response to a segment on cable or network news.
  • Media matters to him: 29 of his tweets as president mention the media somehow — a specific outlet, ratings, or "FAKE NEWS." That's more than a quarter.
  • He actually works: From 9 AM to 6 PM on workdays (excluding weekends and federal holidays), Trump has only tweeted 4 times as president. And just 33 times as president-elect — 13% of his tweets during that period.
  • No more 3 AM tweets: His late-night post-debate tweetstorm hitting Alicia Machado was infamous, but since winning the election, he's only tweeted once between 12 AM and 4 AM — to call SNL "unwatchable" and "sad."

Go deeper

The dangerous side of limiting Twitter replies

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter's plan to allow users to control who can reply to their posts, announced Wednesday, is largely welcome news for those who are routinely harassed on the service — including many people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks and other groups often targeted by online mobs.

Why it matters: It could create an even riper environment for misinformation — especially when combined with Twitter's policy of allowing elected officials' tweets to stand, even when they violate the rules that apply to other users.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Why Twitter won't flag Trump's tweets on Iran

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's use of Twitter to threaten Iran brought renewed calls for CEO Jack Dorsey to take action to limit the president's use of the platform. However, Twitter maintains none of the president's messages violate the company's policies.

The bigger picture: Twitter has said that, in general, it will leave political leaders' tweets up even if they violate the terms of service that apply to other users. Last year it announced a policy that would see the company append a warning to tweets deemed to violate its rules. But, it has yet to apply that policy to Trump or anyone else.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

Twitter will add the ability to limit who can reply to tweets

Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Twitter plans to roll out the ability for users to limit who can reply to their tweets with four new options, director of product management Suzanne Xie said at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, according to The Verge.

Why it matters: The change marks a departure from Twitter's wide-open approach to online interactions and represents a response to rising discontent with harassment and abuse on the service. Until now, users' control came only in the form of after-the-fact options like blocking other users or, more recently, hiding certain replies to their tweets.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020