What Politicians Can Learn From #Covfefe

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Thanks to social media, we are now more connected to our politicians than ever before. Using social platforms like Twitter, politicians have been able to talk directly to the public about important issues and their stances on them, without waiting for mainstream media to carry their message for them. Politicians, like President Donald Trump are setting their own agendas through Twitter. President Trump has even come out and acknowledged that social media is a powerful tool for agenda-setting.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. So, when using social media, like Twitter to promote ideas or comment on world events, politicians need to be mindful of their influence because, according to the Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media, their use of social media may not be telling people exactly what to think, but it is telling people what to think about.

Let me remind you of a little tweet from our President that nearly broke the Internet, all over a simple, misspelled word.

#Covfefe. The word that sparked several parody accounts, a couple funny memes, and had every news outlet talking about its meaning. President Trump’s #covfefe moment highlights not only the ability of politicians to set an agenda but how closely the world pays attention to said agenda. There were definitely more important things going on in the world than #covfefe.

My advice to politicians? Learn from #covfefe and think before you tweet (or at the very least check your spelling before tweeting something to your millions of followers).


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3 thoughts on “What Politicians Can Learn From #Covfefe

  1. Hi Camille! I really enjoyed the point you brought up about how closely journalists and people pay attention to someone’s social media, especially Twitter. Of course, politicians need to err on the side of caution, but I believe as normal users , we too need to pay attention to what were are sharing. We often like or post something without thinking about who will see it. It is a lesson we all can learn; you never know who will be looking at what you post, or how it will be received.

  2. I remember this! I woke up to my Facebook feed flooded with people mocking the president for his error. The interesting part is that (I’m embarrassed to say) I still don’t know the real event that prompted the president to post this on twitter! It’s like knowing the punch line but not knowing the joke. And, just like you said, myself and many others ended up thinking and sharing about his misspelled word rather than the issue/event itself.

  3. I like how you framed this blog post around #covfefe. It was different from some of the other blog posts and it’s a really great example of how one person has so much influence under Agenda-Setting Theory.

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