donald trump

Donald Trump uses Twitter to call Iowa voters brain-dead

Donald Trump isn’t shy, and he’s had a grand old time insulting pretty much every minority group under the sun.  In a pathetic commentary about humanity, this tactic has only caused his poll numbers to rise.  However, he’s yet to insult an entire state whose votes he needs, and the other day on Twitter, that is exactly what happened, when Trump retweeted the following:

Trump Iowa Tweet

By way of explanation: The latest polls have Dr. Ben Carson leading in Iowa.  So, Donald Trump retweeted this tweet, which pretty much implies that Iowa voters have brain damage.

Regardless, that tweet was deleted and replaced with this:

Gotta love the old “young intern” excuse – after all, Trump’s campaign has used it before.  It’s also a load of crap – there is no way that the current Republican front-runner allows an intern to have control over the Twitter account.  And, if they do, everyone involved should be fired.  This isn’t some campaign for Borough Council. Mr. Trump is currently the front runner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.  No one should have access to the Twitter account except professionals.

That being said, Trump’s campaign strategy is, of course, to be as controversial and provocative as possible.  Did his campaign actually decide that there is a limit to how insulting he can be, and that insulting voters directly is a bad call?

One additional note: This isn’t the first time a campaign has gotten into hot water for insulting Iowa or the Iowa caucuses.  A then-staffer for Wisconsin Governor Walker’s campaign, Liz Mair, took to Twitter to attack the status of the Iowa caucuses, and was promptly forced to resign.

At the rate we are going, I may have a new book out shortly, dedicated entirely to the stupid things that Donald Trump has said and done on Twitter.  Sigh.  Speaking of the book….

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

Twitter Government Guide

Twitter releases handbook for governments & politicians

A few years too late, Twitter has released a 137 page handbook for governmental and political users.  In giving it the once over, it’s a very extensive document which reviews a variety of areas on Twitter, including:

  • Persuasion
  • Rapid response
  • Mobilization
  • Tracking
  • Ad products

Twitter’s landing page for the document highlights the guide’s review of three specific areas: Content strategies, Advanced Twitter tools and Twitter basics.

Many users are making fun of the document, though I’ll be honest: By and large, this is a pretty good document, and I don’t get why people think its funny.  It is a little long, however, and if you think the average governmental user has time to review a 137 page document, you are nuts.  Twitter should release a shorter version that gives an overall outline of the document.  I’ll also add that this document would have been a heck of a lot more useful if it had been released when Twitter was first starting out…and who knows?  Maybe it would have stopped a few people…or more than a few people…from appearing on this blog!

That being said, the information contained in the document is very useful.  The items discussed in it can provide a ton of insight, for new and experienced users, about the best ways that they can use Twitter.  If you have a chance, check it out and at least give the document an overview…you won’t be disappointed!

Rand Paul

Eight whole people endorsed Rand Paul for President!

A poorly worded tweet has landed Rand Paul’s Presidential campaign in the blog.  First, here’s the tweet:

The issue?  The use of the word “the.”  Had Paul said “See 8 of the people…” I don’t think anyone would have blinked at this quote.  However, by saying “See the 8 people,” Paul’s tweet makes it sound like these are the only 8 people, anywhere, who have endorsed his campaign.  Combined this tweet with Paul’s flagging poll numbers, and you get the distinct impression that this, in fact, might be the only eight people who have endorsed his campaign!

Other Twitter users, of course, were quick to jump on Paul for the tweet:

Other news stories also jumped on Paul’s campaign for the tweet.

The list itself featured six Congressmen, Paul’s father (former Congressman Ron Paul) and Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Pat Miletich.  It’s good that Paul’s Dad endorsed him.  That’s a start.

The lesson here is that you have to be so, so careful with how you word your tweets.  Had Paul just tweaked the wording of these tweets a little bit, there’d be no problem.  But, with the tweet being phrased as it was, it got him a decent amount of negative attention.  On Twitter, every word counts.  Paul’s campaign just found that one out the hard way.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

Twitter campaign donations

Twitter & Square partner to allow for political donations via Twitter

You can now donate to a political candidate via Twitter.

As noted by Bloomberg, Twitter and Square have partnered to allow you to allow candidate to solicit and collect donations via Twitter.  The partnership allows users to click on a tweet, fill out the necessary information and make a donation with a debit or credit card.

The system, which the New York Times bills as “seamless,” works like this:

To make it work, campaigns will create a Square Cash account, which gives the campaign a unique web handle, known as a “cashtag.” Then, when anyone shares the cashtag on Twitter, a donate button will appear that, when selected, will open a window for a user to input their information and donate using a debit card. And after they’ve done it once, the app saves their information, allowing for one-click donating the next time.

Previously, candidates, of course, could tweet out links for how people could donate.  However, that would take users to a separate URL, and as anyone who has every made a mobile purchase on their phone knows, those systems could be clunky and awkward. This system, since it’s integrated with Twitter, is much more advanced.  It is quicker, easier for donors to operate, and easier to tweet about.  It’s also smart for Square, since it gives candidates yet another reason to use their system as opposed to another, like PayPal or Google Wallet.  Additionally, this will make it easy for supporters to tweet and share donation information about their selected candidates.

Chalk this one up to the latest integration between the campaign, fundraising and social media world.  This could also be important to more than just Presidential candidates – since it is available to political candidates of all levels, it can be important to hooking in your already existing social networks into your fundraising apparatus.  Frankly, I’ll be using it when I run for reelection – and I may open a Square account instead of a PayPal one.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

donald trump

Donald Trump holds #AskTrump. STOP. DOING. THAT.

Frequent readers of the blog know that the dumbest thing which a controversial elected official can do is hold a social media Q&A, using a hashtag.  Even if you are able to generate positive traction, the negative news stories will drown out the positive ones.  So, guess who decided to hold #AskTrump last week?

And, how did it go?  Here are some samples:

And how did the media cover it?  Not well.

So, let’s review the follow equation…call it Schlossberg’s Principle of Hashtags:

Controversial figure + Open request for input on social media = Media fail


Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

Virginia State Senator under fire for sexist tweet

State Senator Richard Black (R) is running for his first reelection against Dr. Jill McCabe.  He’s now under fire for the sexist implications of the following tweet:

Senator Richard Black Tweet

The sexist implications of such a tweet are obvious: It’s hard to see how being a pediatric surgeon is somehow less valuable than Senator Blake’s contributions to society, which have involved herpetology (the study of amphibians). You can’t help but wonder if the same tweet would have been sent had Dr. McCabe been Joe, not Jill.  At the same time, Dr. McCabe is a wife and mother – does that count for nothing in Senator Black’s estimate?

Incidentally, the tweet has been deleted from Senator Black’s account, and no mention was made of the deletion (on Twitter), or why.  However, in a statement, a Black spokesperson said the tweet was deleted only because Senator Black appeared in a tweet in a military uniform, without the standard disclaimer that the Department of Defensive didn’t endorse his candidacy.  Okay, sure.  They also said that the comparison was made because Dr. McCabe was calling Senator Black a politician – so the Black campaign wanted to make sure that they pushed back by talking about all of the other things that Senator Black was.

Naturally, Virginia Democrats and McCabe supporters blasted the tweet:

There’s no two ways of saying it: This was dumb.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  If Senator Black truly wanted to push back against the notion that he wasn’t just a politician, he could have easily discussed all the other things he was – without belittling a woman who is a wife and a mother.  The tweet clearly discounts the effort and importance of both of those roles, and that’s just dumb.

Whenever sending out any tweet, always think twice about any of the possible implications.

donald trump

Trump trolled, again

Some time ago, I noted how Donald Trump was tricked into retweeting pictures of serial killers.  You’d have think he (okay, really, his social media team) would have learned his lesson at this point and would begin checking images before they were retweeted.


This tweet was sent out on 9/12:

Nice looking senior citizen, right?  Yeah, no, that’s actually Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist who was just elected as the new leader of the Labour Party in England. Whoops.

Naturally, Twitter users, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, let him have it:

We know that Trump is not personally running his Twitter feed, so it’s not as if he made the mistake.  However, I would argue that this is a systemic problem for his Twitter team.  This is the second time that they were tricked into tweeting a picture of someone who wasn’t who they said they were, and you’d have thought they learned their lesson by now.  Someone at Trump’s level is going to regularly get trolled.  They really should know to check an image.