US President Donald Trump has proven himself to be an avid user of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, using them for a variety of purposes like trading barbs with his opponents among mass media and sharing his opinion on important matters of state and foreign policy.
Igor Pshenichnikov, adviser to the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, told RIA Novosti that the president’s love of social media most likely stems from how effective they turned out to be during his election campaign.
“Considering the fact that the president now has 24.7 million subscribers on Twitter and about 5.7 million subscribers on Instagram, this Trump’s instrument of communication and information dissemination effectively rivals – if not surpasses — other established mass media outlets that oppose him,” Pshenichnikov remarked.
It should be noted however that Trump’s use of Twitter has already been criticized both in the US and abroad. For example, in early in January the Xinhua News Agency has declared that “engaging in ‘Twitter diplomacy’ is ill-advised” after Trump posted several critical tweets blasting China’s economic policies and naval operations in South China Sea.
“Trump uses social media to quickly make his opinion on various issues known to the general public. However, such method of relaying one’s opinion – curt and often rather sharp – still leaves considerable room for speculation and makes Trump appear ‘unpredictable’,” Pshenichnikov said.
Meanwhile, Trump’s detractors in the US claim that rhetoric alone won’t help Trump and that his tweets won’t be able to drive US foreign policy.
Pshenichnikov however argues that so far Donald Trump has turned out to be one of the most active US presidents, having issued 12 executive orders in his first three weeks as the leader of the United States, with some of these orders considerably altering both domestic and foreign policy of the US.
And as Trump’s opponents apparently control the mainstream media in the US and Europe, Trump had no choice but to develop his own system of information dissemination and propaganda – and he managed to succeed at this task.
Essentially, at this time Trump remains unpredictable to the people who control the US mass media, and at any time he can make his opinion known to the public without it being distorted by some biased journalist, Pshenichnikov surmised.