America To Trump: Delete Your Account

Most Americans wish Donald Trump would stop tweeting. Good luck with that.

Trump Twitter

A majority of Americans want Donald Trump to delete his Twitter account:

A majority of voters want President-elect Donald Trump to delete his Twitter account, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Fifty-nine percent say that the incoming president should shut down his personal account on the social media site, and 35 percent disagree.

Still, 59 percent also say that they are optimistic about Trump’s presidency. About half, 49 percent, say he will be a good or great president, and 43 percent he will be not so good or bad.

Trump’s Twitter habits have at times inflamed critics and allies alike.

During the campaign, he retweeted white supremacists, celebrated Cinco de Mayo by sharing a picture of him eating a taco bowl and routinely launched twitter attacks on his opponents.

Since Election Day, Trump has used the platform to repeatedly bash the media for what he sees as unfair coverage.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” after the election, Trump stood by his tweets as a way of “fighting back that’s very tough,” though he promised to take a more subdued approach to social media once he’s in the White House.

“I’m going to do very restrained,” he said. “If I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained.”

Trump’s tweeting may have hurt his image among voters, as 57 percent say that Trump is not level-headed, according to the Quinnipiac survey.

Notwithstanding Trump’s promise to be more restrained in his use of social media after the election should he win, since the election the reality has been quite the opposite. Whereas the final weeks before the election saw Trump’s use of his Twitter account to attack others as he has done since he started using the service, since then we’ve seen Trump return to his old form. In just the two weeks since winning the election, Trump has gone on Tweetstorms attacking the cast of Hamilton, reporters attempting to find out what’s going on inside a transition team that has been unusually reluctant to discuss the transition process with the media, and media organizations,  Saturday Night Live and South Park, and any other critics who happen to have popped up during that time period. Just as he was before he started campaigning and before the race for President came down to the wire, Trump was back to tweeting with no filter at all hours of the day, including late at night, which has usually been where the worst of his Tweeting has taken place.

All of this has happened despite reported attempts by campaign staff to persuade Trump to stay off Twitter or to discipline his online practices now that he is President-Elect, but as we’ve seen all of that has been to no avail. Trump has continued to Tweet as if he were still a candidate for President and as if he was totally unmindful of the potential security implications of someone in his position using social media on such a regular basis. Of course, one could say that having won the election Trump’s Twitter style worked for him so why should he change it now? All of this will get more interesting as we get closer to January 20th because one anticipates that Trump will be presented with the same pressure that President Obama did when he first took office. According to numerous reports back then, the incoming President was reluctant to give up his Blackberry and his habit of frequently talking to friends and family via text message and email. Eventually, he was given a secure phone that had limited access and limited capacity to connect to the Internet in order to minimize security risks. As President, Trump would also be subject to the requirements of the Federal Records Act, meaning that he would be unable to delete any of his more offensive tweets and could create real security problems by opening his account to being shared by anyone. The ideal situation would be for his Twitter account to be run by White House Staff, but I’m not sure it will be any easier to get the smartphone out of his hands once he’s President than it is now.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. KM says:

    You know, he’s not entitled to an account. Twitter has the right to take his handle away and deactivate the official POTUS account. He’s not paying for it or anything. Should they ask for a reason – “violation of community standards” is one of those lovely vague things that comes to mind. “Bullying” or “threat to national security” also work

    If the White House IT staff doesn’t have the balls to block Twitter from their network or remove admin privileges from any phone he comes into contact with (child mode, Donald, you’re reduced to parental lock), then its up to Twitter to save our country’s reputation and dignity by shutting him down. He can have the account back after Inauguration Day 2020 and not a moment before.




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  2. Andy says:

    How about we delete Twitter instead?




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  3. Davebo says:

    @Andy:

    If you had a leak in your kitchen sink would you turn off the water for the entire block?




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  4. Jc says:

    If he is not going to stop running his businesses while also trying to run the country, what makes you think he is going to stop running his mouth on Twitter? For Prez Trump there is no such thing as a conflict of interest. This is what happens when your kids are never told “No.” – You get this type of President.




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  5. CSK says:

    I wonder to what extent he will be running the country? He has no knowledge (and no apparent interest in acquiring it) of how to run the country, which admittedly wouldn’t stop him, but how much desire does he have to run it? It’s hard, hard work that requires patience, diplomacy, and the ability to assimilate large amounts of information, digest it, and analyze it. Does Trump have any of those skills? No. And we all know he has the attention span of a hyper-active toddler. Shall we do a betting pool on how long it takes him to get incredibly bored and turn the whole shebang over to Pence?

    One of his sons told an interviewer that Pence would do the “thing things Trump doesn’t want to do.”

    Twitter is just Donald Trump’s speed, in more ways than one. He loves being able to fire off misspelled insults at anyone who might criticize him, a deadly insult in his eyes that must be avenged. Of course it’s not presidential. But neither is Trump.




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  6. Gustopher says:

    is it his supporters who want him to delete the account? And the people who want to believe he might be a good president?

    I want him to post every idiot thing that crosses his mind.

    I didn’t vote to burn the country down, I voted for the boring reasonable option. But, if we are going to burn the country down, I want to savor the spectacle of it all.




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  7. Andy says:

    @Davebo: Yes, if my water system is in Flint, MI.

    Seriously though, Twitter isn’t all bad, but it tends to bring out the worst in a lot of people (Trump included) and it requires a lot more restraint to avoid becoming an asshole compared to longer-form communication.




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  8. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Gustopher: I always thought during the campaign the Tweets would bring him down. They didn’t but most (including Republicans) thought he would lose so it didn’t matter. Like you I want these to continue so that he is continuously exposed as what he is. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigns when it finally sinks in how constrained he will be by everyone around him.




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  9. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Speak for yourself. I couldn’t be any happier that he’s still on Twitter. Let the games commence.




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  10. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    He really is too stupid to realize that the more he flies into a psychotic fury when Saturday Night Live tweaks him, the more they’ll do it. The same thing will happen when a newspaper editorial criticizes him, or when a columnist takes issue with something he says or does.

    I think it would be quite easy to keep Trump in a constant, gibbering froth of rage. Just tell Graydon Carter to mention “short fingers” in each issue of Vanity Fair. Online and print.




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  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    It may be time to practice the other side of the First Amendment. If people stop looking up what Donald Trump bloviates on Twitter and the “lamestream media” stop treating every tweet as news, it doesn’t matter what he tweets at 3 a.m.

    Frankly, I’m ambivalent about this for the same sorts of reasons that HL92 is, but freedom of speech does not come with an accompanying obligation to be listened to by the public. “We the people” actually do have control over this; we just can’t tell him to shut up.




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  12. Jeb says:

    Trumps America to Trump: Keep your account..




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  13. ScienceABC123 says:

    Freedom of speech people! Whether Trump keeps his Twitter account or closes it is his choice. Whether you choose to follow him or not on Twitter is your choice. People need to learn where their boundaries are and respect other people’s rights.




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  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @ScienceABC123:

    He’ll be a government employee. Curtailments of first amendment rights are commonplace in the federal workplace. It’s a different set of rules.

    That said, as I noted above, I couldn’t be happier that he’s tweeting. I hope he tweets like nobody’s business. Non-stop. 24/7.




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  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    You’re closer to the mark than you know. While there are limits to what I can or will discuss regarding his business dealings, one of the worst defeats he ever suffered came at the hands of a business rival who’s, frankly, as cold as ice and calculating enough to make Machiavelli look like an amateur.

    He went into the deal with a strategy of pissing Trump off and playing on his vanity about his wealth to push him into acting out of rage. It worked. Beautifully. He took Trump to the cleaners.

    I really can’t stress enough how reactionary this guy is – particularly with respect to perceptions about his wealth. Forget the tiny hands thing. If you REALLY want to piss him off, start hinting / saying / shouting that he isn’t as wealthy as he pretends to be / might even be broke from a liquid wealth perspective and living on credit. He’ll go off the deep end.

    Nuclear. Every. Time.

    The key to beating this guy is getting him to beat himself.




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  16. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I believe every word you say. And I know that he’s sensitive about his worth.

    Money = fingers = dick.

    If he were broke and living on credit, I would not be in the least surprised.




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  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    he’s sensitive about his worth

    Incredibly sensitive about it. It harkens back to the insult he’s never gotten over – being snubbed by NY society. That one thing IMO fundamentally damaged his personality, to the point where his entire life has become a single-minded crusade at obtaining de facto revenge by being seen as wealthier than they are. In his twisted perspective, he has attempted to convince himself that he’s one-upped them by doing so, but underneath the braggadocio, he is still an incredibly insecure person who remains the not good enough slumlord from Queens and deeply wounded by the snub.

    Attacking his perception of wealth is about more than tweaking his ego – it torpedoes the man in the darkest places of his psyche where he’s most vulnerable. Shorter version: start casting doubt on his wealth and you become a stand-in for those society mavens (who to this day he still loathes) that rejected him 35 years ago. He’ll come out swinging and expose his jugular – because he’s physically unable to do anything else.




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  18. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    If the White House IT staff doesn’t have the balls to block Twitter from their network or remove admin privileges from any phone he comes into contact with (child mode, Donald, you’re reduced to parental lock), then its up to Twitter to save our country’s reputation and dignity by shutting him down.

    Now that you put it that way, why would I want him to lose his account? Let him tweet himself out of office.




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  19. Andy says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Elected officials are not government employees.




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  20. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Andy:

    Understood, but neither are they exempt from certain regulations which curtail speech in the interest of various concerns. The broader point was that people fundamentally misunderstand what the 1A does and does not do.

    Like I said, though, I’d be the last person to support muzzling him. I WANT the guy running his mouth and generally causing chaos. The harder he falls and the greater the magnitude of his screwups, the better.




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  21. stonetools says:

    Trump thinks of Twitter as his end run around the mainstream media. Whatever we think of his tweeting, Trump with15M Twitter followers and 12M Facebook followers, can communicate directly to his followers, unedited by any media. That’s powerful, and it’s worked for him. He is President Trump partly because of Twitter, for good or (mostly) ill.
    He ain’t giving it up.




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  22. Andy says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Sure, they are subject to certain regulations, however, when it comes to the 1st amendment they are not. I’m a civil service employee and am subject the the Hatch Act, just as one example. Citizen Trump (which is all he is at present) and the future President Trump is not. Elected officials, for the most part, cannot be removed from office for violating mere regulation. Even unelected political appointees enjoy a certain immunity from regulations that mortals like me do not enjoy (see numerous examples from every administration) – in the case of Trump he is not subject to federal regulations but the master of them – the only way he can be punished for transgressions are through the courts (not successful historically) or via impeachment or losing the next election, both of which seem more likely than normal…but then I thought Clinton would win so who knows?




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  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Andy:

    I was just an AUSA. What would I possibly know about federal regulations or the 1A?

    Anyhoo, we’re getting off on a tangent. I think we both agree that his Twitter account is a gift.




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  24. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yes, I’ve talked about Trump’s social insecurity here at length. He was desperate to buy/bluster/bully his way into Old New York Society, refusing to believe that one can’t do that. You must be born into it.

    This is his revenge, God help us all.




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  25. Andy says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m not sure about his twitter account. For the past year the media and bloggers and what-have-you have been pointing to what he’s doing on twitter in what – in hindsight – was a vain effort to deny him the Presidency. How did that work out?

    In short the only people that care what Trump says on Twitter are those who are unconvincable and firmly established in a camp. I would expect a lot of heat but little light and even less thoughtfulness.




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  26. Rob Miller says:

    @KM:

    I always love to see the way the Left LOVES free speech…for them only, and everyone else had better shut up.

    I wouldn’t have asked for or expected an apology myself, especially when the actor who was yapping away, Brandon Dixon, is an enthusiastic fan of the racist and anti-semitic #blacklivesmatter movement, and likes to tweet about black sexual assaults on white girls

    And the show, of course, violated the rules of Actor’s Equity, State law and Federal Law by explicitly saying whites need not apply when they were hiring and casting. So you know what kind of creeps we’re dealing with here.

    But President -elect Trump had every right to demand an apology. I realize the Left would love to censure everyone who remotely disagrees with them, and shut them up. And in some areas like a lot of college campuses, , they succeed. But it’s not ‘liberal,’ freedom loving or appropriate as far as I’m concerned.




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  27. Posting under an assumed name says:

    @Rob Miller: For a neo-Nazi, you sure link to a lot of Arabic, Iranian and Jewish sites. I thought I saw a couple of Black Power sites, too. Do you actually READ any of them, or are you just putting up links to as many sites as you can find to look like a pseudo intellectual?




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  28. rachel says:

    @Rob Miller:

    But President -elect Trump had every right to demand an apology.

    Sure, just as we have the right to point our fingers and laugh. That’s why I hope that the giant WATB keeps tweeting, anyway.




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  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Rob Miller:

    heads up, Herr Oberst. I think you dropped your swastika.




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  30. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Also his brain, obviously….

    No wonder he’s a Trump follower.




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