President Donald Trump is notorious for his repeated use of Twitter to express his immediate mood. In recent weeks, his pace of tweeting has increased has he has grown angrier over the political problems created for him by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia, which pointedly failed to clear him of obstruction of justice.
But according to The New York Times, as Trump tweets more and more, his supporters appear to care less and less.
As former Treasury Department counsel Steven Rattner noted in his op-ed, citing figures from Axios, “At the time of his election in 2016, a Trump tweet was interacted with (meaning a retweet or a like) about 0.55 percent of the time. As the frequency of Mr. Trump’s tweets increased and the novelty of them declined, so did the response rate — down to 0.16 percent most recently.”
“Part of the recent escalation in Mr. Trump’s Twitter activity is due to the unveiling of the Mueller report,” noted Rattner. “In just the roughly two months since Attorney General William Barr’s release of his summary of the report, Mr. Trump used the words ‘no collusion’ or ‘no obstruction’ in a tweet 62 times, approximately once a day. By comparison, in the entire previous year, he used the terms only 56 times.”
It is unclear exactly why Trump’s followers’ engagement is declining. One reason might simply be that repetition made his tweets less interesting. It also might be that Trump has lost a lot of automated bot followers as Twitter has purged fake accounts, and that those bots accounted for a lot of his engagement — something that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to gently explain to Trump when he complained in a White House meeting that Twitter was discriminating against him by removing his followers.