“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest,” Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America tweets. “Please don’t feel stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” It’s not just Trump that casually tweets like this with the responsibility and power he has. Chris Brown, James Gunn, Elon Musk, and many others have made the same mistakes as Donald Trump.
Twitter is a social media platform that was launched in July, 2006 by a man named Jack Dorsey and his colleagues. The social network soon blew up due to its unique way of displaying the user’s thoughts and ideas to the public. It has been a hotbed for political discussion throughout the years with over forty million election-related tweets on the night of the presidential election in 2016. Twitter has many users across the globe as of this past November, some of whom are powerful influential people.
One of these people is Elon Musk, CEO of many companies including SpaceX, Tesla, and PayPal. Elon’s success and eccentric personality has caught many people’s attention and he only got bigger when he joined Twitter. But Musk’s use of the social media platform has come back to bite him multiple times. In a tweet on July 15, 2018, Musk starts boasting about his technological inventions (as is normal on his Twitter page) and says, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.” The “pedo guy” he is referring to is Vernon Unsworth, one of the three divers involved in rescuing a Taiwanese soccer team from a cave submerged in water. Musk calls Unsworth a pedophile implying that the only reason a British man like Unsworth would live in Taiwan is because he is one. As expected, this did not get a very positive reaction from his followers.
Musk didn’t just stop there. In an August 7 tweet of the same year he says, “I am considering taking Tesla private at 420 dollars. Funding secured.” This increased Tesla stock by six percent closing at 362 dollars, however, this was quite a shock to the Tesla board considering that musk said that nobody at Tesla reviewed the tweet before it was posted. Not only did this cause financial issues, but the number “420” is also used to refer to the act of smoking marijuana or marijuana itself, posing the question: why would Musk use this number for the price of his companies stock? Not everybody enjoyed this drug reference, especially not the companies he owns.
Donald J. Trump has also posted some very controversial comments and images on the platform. It is tweets like “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke,” that make the people of America question Trump’s unregulated access to Twitter. Trump’s tweets about fellow political figures have been very controversial. On March 22, 2018, Trump tweets, “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”
Name-calling another presidential candidate over a social media app is not a very professional thing to do, much less threaten to beat them. But he didn’t stop there. On November 11, 2017 he tweets, “Why would Kim Jong-Un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!” Not only was Trump insulting his fellow American politicians, but also overseas dictators. Unlike Musk’s tweets, Trump’s tweets affect us all due to his global representation, of America meaning if he makes a mistake, then it could impact the American people.
Although Twitter is a great app that allows you to stay up to date with your peers, words have meaning and can not be thrown around aimlessly, especially when you have 67.8 million followers.