With over 85.8 million followers on Twitter, an unprecedented feature of Donald Trump's successful campaign for president in 2016 was his personal use of Twitter. With his account gaining an average of 55,000 followers every month, it is safe to say that Trump’s tweets address an enormous audience of supporters, haters and bots at least 33 times on a daily basis.
The Loyalists: A scan of the loyalist accounts that gain POTUS attention on twitter indicates that a majority of them belong to predominantly older white working-class users. Trump’s supporters are known for often expressing similar attitudes towards racial diversity, immigration and Muslims, such as that possessed by the President himself. Some of those followers made controversial headlines before being suspended for violating the platform’s rules.
Fellow Presidential Candidate: Kanye West expressed his support from Trump, long before the newly minted billionaire announced his presidential run. Back in 2018, Kanye professed his admiration by tweeting
“You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother.” (source: @ye on Twitter, 12:30 AM · Apr 26, 2018)
While Kanye’s support for Trump continued throughout 2019, many speculated whether their friendship would change following Kanye’s presidential bid. However, Kanye continues to think that “Trump is the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.”
The Megaphones: Another interesting development that can be viewed within Trump’s supporters is the surge of retweets gained by One America News Network (@OANN) for promoting Trump’s speeches that are always being aired live on their channel. In fact, the president himself has praised the lesser-known news network by tweeting
“Also, congratulations to @OANN on the great job you are doing and the big ratings jump”. (source: @realdonaldtrump on Twitter, 6:56 PM · May 13, 2019)
However, following the spike in coronavirus cases and the advent of the BLM movement in America, a consistent rise in anti-Trump sentiment is noticeable.
Hollywood: While there only a handful from Hollywood, such as Jon Voight, who openly express their support for President Trump, many popular celebrities such as John Legend and Taylor Swift, whose tweet slamming Trump’s response to the protests in Minnesota became her most-liked tweet ever this May, are brazenly threatening to, as Taylor tweeted, “vote you[Trump] out in November” (source: @taylorswift13 on Twitter, 11:33 PM · May 29, 2020)
The 2016 Rival: Additionally, Hillary Clinton’s tweet advising the public not to follow Trump’s “medical advice” became one of March’s most-liked tweet.
(source: @HillaryClinton on Twitter, 12:03 AM · Mar 25, 2020)
The New Enemies? Although Fox News and its hosts @DiamondandSilk (who refer to themselves as “President Donald J Trump's Most Loyal Supporters”) have consistently been retweeted and congratulated by both Trump and his supporters alike, their number of retweets dropped following a string of anti-Trump ads due run on Fox News in March.
High-profile politicians from the Republican party itself are targeting Trump, with their PAC @ProjectLincoln using firepower previously targeting Democrats on the President himself. (source: @ProjectLincoln on Twitter)
The Bots: Very recently, it has come to light that some of Trump’s followers on twitter include bots, spam, propaganda, or inactive accounts that aim to mislead voters. For instance, only this August, Twitter deleted several pro-Trump fake accounts that claimed to be run by Black people, whose viral tweets received tens of thousands of shares in the past month. Despite this, Trump enjoys a considerable fan following on Twitter, with many loyalist accounts solely utilising the platform for all things Trump.
These increasing attacks by notable politicians and celebrities and the trending hashtags #ThePresidentIsACrybaby and #TrumpleThinSkin go to show that growing influence of anti-trump trends on Twitter. While this is not necessarily increasing allies to Biden and other Democrats, it’s definitely causing the platform itself to become wary of Trump’s tweets, as Twitter is evidently becoming more active in enforcing its policies against the President by fact-check labelling two of Trump’s tweets for the first time last month.