It’s a fact of social media life: sometimes, you just have to ‘like’ your own posts. After all, nobody gets you like you get you, right? Still, Donald Trump has taken the minor social media faux pas to an extreme in the past two weeks that you’ll have to see to believe. He’s now using his official Twitter account as President to ‘like’ posts by his personal account.
Even as cringe-worthy as that sounds all on its own, it gets worse. Trump started out by using his Presidential account to ‘like’ tweets that, at least, had official sources behind them. That is to say, from his personal account, Trump tweeted official White House links, and then used the Presidential account to ‘like’ them. The latest cross-liked post, though, is just one of Trump’s personal rants about ‘Fake News’ and his own anti-media conspiracy theories.
This warrants a new level of concern. It’s bad enough that the President of the United States is using his position to promote an imaginary story that could turn the people he’s supposed to represent away from one of their best sources of information, but using an official government account to endorse that fear-mongering is even more of a concern.
Since Trump took office, and took over the @POTUS Twitter handle, on January 20, the official account has ‘liked’ 23 tweets. A full third of those are from Melania Trump’s official account at the @FLOTUS handle. Others are from Ivanka, Mike Pence, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other U.S. and foreign government officials or branches.
Starting May 17th, though, Trump began using the account to like some of his own tweets. First it was a tweet that, though sent from Trump’s personal account, pertained to his tasks as President. Specifically, Trump ‘liked’ his own tweet of a video from the commencement speech he gave at the U.S. Coast Guard Acadamy. The tweet also linked to the video on the official White House Facebook page.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2017
The next time Trump used his POTUS account to improve the number of ‘likes’ on his personal account, it was nine days later, and again was a tweet that linked to an official government document, in this case a statement on the White House website regarding terrorism.
Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilization- it is up to all who value life to confront & defeat this evil➡️https://t.co/haeuvCIF6I
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2017
When this drew no controversy, however, Trump appeared to grow bolder with his self-promotion via Twitter gratification, awarding himself another Presidential ‘like’ only two days later — and this time, not on a post that was even remotely official, but a mere rant about his idea that the media is out to get him.
The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don't want America to hear the real story!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2017
This tweet came after Trump was criticized for tweets that appeared to express confusion over exactly where he landed Sunday morning — Trump first tweeted that he had just landed in Italy, then thirteen minutes later, tweeted that he had returned from Europe, and deleted the previous tweet.
Trump’s war on the free press is a war on information, and on an ideal so American, it’s enshrined in the First Amendment of the US. Constitution. However, with on click of a ‘like’ button on an official account, Trump removed the last thin veneer that separated his war on the free press, with a U.S. Government war on the press.
If that wasn’t far enough, he also used the official Presidential account to re-tweet the claim.
Liking your own posts — well, that’s a matter of personal preference. When the President uses government resources to give himself love, though, it’s cause for concern. No one thought Donald Trump’s Twitter offenses could become more egregious, but he’s proving us all wrong, yet again.