The Possible Downfall of the Trump Campaign, Through the Twitter Lens
The backlash has been massive, and this is the first time Trump has ever actually apologised for past comments. The subject came up in the debates, and, while still expressing regret, he referred to the comments as 'locker room talk', which as you can probably guess, just made everything worse.
Over the past few days, Twitter has undergone a series of controlled, Trump-related explosions. First of all, writer Kelly Oxford encouraged women to start sharing stories about their experiences of sexual assault, then Trump's Twitter account starting coming near the top of search results for '#RapeCulture', and finally, the Muslim community responded to some other comments he'd made during the debate with '#MuslimsReportStuff'.
women have tweeted me sexual assault stories for 14 hours straight. Minimum 50 per minute. harrowing. do not ignore. #notokay— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) October 8, 2016
Comment: Sexual harrassment isn't 'locker room' stuff, and it's never okay #NotOkay https://t.co/kCUlYzuh44— Kitty (@TheLadyLycan) October 10, 2016
There's more, I could talk about the weird trash talking battle which has kicked off between Robert De Niro and John Voigt, or the users posting screenshots from the debate and discussing the creepiness of Trump's body language, but I think you get the idea. It's been a fairly commonplace argument since all this that any publicity is good publicity, but Trump's notoriety as a misogynist (and a fool) is fast overtaking his notoriety as a viable candidate.
The criticism from the Muslim side of things came from Trump talking about his plan for "extreme vetting" for refugees, his reference to Syria as a "Trojan horse" and most significantly, that Muslims living in America should "report when they see something going on."
I think my sister drank orange juice straight out of the carton, will continue to investigate #MuslimsReportStuff— basith (@MrCommonCents) October 10, 2016
There is a man getting too close to a woman at the #debate trying to grab her by the ***** #MuslimsReportStuff pic.twitter.com/MYSYoI665K— Driss R. Temsamani (@DrissTemsamani) October 10, 2016
This statement became the framework for #MuslimsReportStuff, as Muslims, American or otherwise, started reporting various things meant to either mock Trump or call him out on past statements and actions. The clown outbreak was referenced early and often, too, since Trump is indeed still the scariest clown on the news at the moment.
Whether or not this latest gaffe will be the end of Trump's campaign remains to be seen, but it's interesting to think that not too long from now, Twitter timelines will provide perhaps the best historical document of that time that Donald Trump (hopefully) almost became president. It also demonstrates the value of Twitter, as a means of unification, a voice for the people and a sounding board for current events.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
The Possible Downfall of the Trump Campaign, Through the Twitter Lens Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Rating: