NEW TRADITIONS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION OF US PRESIDENTS: FORMATION AND FUNCTIONING OF OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNTS

Keywords: @POTUS, Twitter, social media, D.Trump, B.Obama, digital infrastructure, digital transition

Abstract

This article describes the beginning of the “digital transition” tradition in American political culture. Therefore, the formation of the technical transition procedure has been analyzed. It entails archiving the records of the previous presidential administration and filing of archives. This element is provided by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The next element of the procedure is the technical transfer of the accounts of the next presidential administration. This process is provided by a private company Twitter. The report addresses the issue of public-private partnerships in the digital transition process.

The article explores the contrast between personal and official factors in their activities in the context of the emerging practice of United States presidents using official Twitter accounts. Uncertainties surrounding the question of the president-social networks result in inconsistent interpretations of the concept of presidential records. The article analyzes the problem of personal and official activities of B. Obama and D. Trump on Twitter based on legal and procedural precedents.

The article analyzes different approaches to using Twitter between B. Obama and D. Trump. The separation of private records of the 44th President of the United States of America through the creation of an official Twitter account @POTUS. The article analyzes the rejection of the digital transition tradition and the neglect to use the President’s official account. By contrast, D. Trump used his personal account as an official during his presidency.

In addition, the article examines statistics on the use of Twitter by these USA presidents. Analysis of the number and frequency of publications defined a manner of account management. The report covers the authorship of publications and access to the accounts of campaign workers and presidential administrations.

References

American Red Cross. President Obama pushed the button on the last tweet. Twitter. 18 january 2010. URL: https://twitter.com/RedCross/status/7915529685
Anderson B. Tweeter-in-Chief: A Content Analysis of President Trump’s Tweeting Habits. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications. 2017. Vol. 8, №2. P. 36-47. URL: https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/communications/journal/wp-content/uploads/sites/153/2017/12/Fall2017Journal.pdf#page=36
Archived Social Media. Donald J. Trump Presidential Library. URL. https://www.trumplibrary.gov/research/archived-social-media
Arrington M. Odeo Releases Twttr. TechCrunch. 16 july 2006. URL: https://techcrunch.com/2006/07/15/is-twttr-interesting/
Barack Obama on Twitter – 2008 / 2021 analysis. TweetBinder Blog. 2021. URL: https://www.tweetbinder.com/blog/barack-obama-twitter/
Baragona J. REPORT: Trump Will Maintain Personal Twitter Account and Won’t Adopt Official @POTUS Account. Mediaite. 15 january 2017. URL: https://www.mediaite.com/online/report-trump-will-maintain-personal-twitter-accountand-wont-adopt-official-potus-account/
Blake A. Obama sharing Twitter account with controversial campaign spin-off. The Washington Post. 22 march 2013.
URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2013/03/22/obama-sharing-twitter-account-withcontroversial-campaign-spin-off/
Bump P. You’re Not Really Following @BarackObama on Twitter. The Atlantic. 8 april 2013. URL: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/04/youre-not-following-barackobama-twitter/316523/
COVFEFE Act of 2017. 12 june 2017. URL: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2884
Donald Trump and Twitter – 2009 / 2021 analysis. TweetBinder Blog. 2021. URL: https://www.tweetbinder.com/blog/trump-twitter/
Dorsey J. Not at this scale. Twitter. 21 january 2017. URL: https://twitter.com/jack/status/822893869583007744
Efanova Elena Sotsialnye media v amerikanskoi publichnoi politike na primere sotsialnoi seti Twitter. Vestnik VolGU.
Seriia 4 Istoriia Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia. 2020. №3. C.172-179. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/sotsialnye-media-v-amerikanskoy-publichnoy-politike-na-primere-sotsialnoy-seti-twitter
Elorreaga G.M. Don’t Delete That Tweet: Federal and Presidential Records in the Age of Social Media. St. Mary’s Law Journal. 2019. Vol. 50. №1. Art.7. P. 482-519. URL: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/thestmaryslawjournal/vol50/iss1/7?utm_source=commons.stmarytx.edu%2Fthestmaryslawjournal%2Fvol50%2Fiss1%2F7&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages
End Of The Road For Trump’s Twitter Account. Statista. 11 january 2021. URL: https://www.statista.com/chart/19561/total-number-of-tweets-from-donald-trump/
Hudson Jr. D.L. Government use of social media. The First Amendment Encyclopedia. 8 january 2020. URL: https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1738/government-use-of-social-media
Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center. Washington, D.C. 7 april 2021. URL: https://www.pewresearch. org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/
Jarvey N. Twitter Transition to Begin Friday as Obama Hands @POTUS Account to Trump. The Hollywood Reporter. 19 january 2017. URL: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/how-potus-twitter-transfer-obamatrump-will-work-966048/
Johnson J. Number of internet users in the United States from 2010 to 2025. Statista. 4 august 2021. URL: https://www.statista.com/statistics/325645/usa-number-of-internet-users/
Lerman R. Trump says Twitter is trying to ‘silence’ conservatives. His growing number of followers suggests otherwise.
The Washington Post. 28 may 2020. URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/05/28/trump-twitterby-numbers/
Liptak A. Yesterday’s @POTUS transition didn’t go so smoothly for Twitter. The Verge. 21 january 2017. URL: https://www.theverge.com/2017/1/21/14346648/twitter-potus-transition-jack-dorsey-donald-trump
O’Brien M. Obama: ‘I have never used Twitter’. The Hill. 16 november 2009. URL: https://thehill.com/blogs/blogbriefing-room/news/67865-obama-i-have-never-used-twitter
O’Donnell K. Transition sources tell me @realDonaldTrump intends to keep using his own account as president, not switching to @potus himself. Twitter. 16 january 2017. URL: https://twitter.com/KellyO/status/820785990746963969
Obama B. Welcome to a new @BarackObama. Twitter. 18 june 2011. URL: https://twitter.com/barackobama/status/81859291505639424
President Obama (@POTUS44) – archive of an Obama Administration account. Twitter. URL: https://twitter.com/potus44
Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. Public Law 113-187. 26 november 2014. URL: http://uscode.house.gov/statviewer.htm?volume=128&page=2014#
Records Released In Response to Presidential Records Act (PRA) Inquiries, Trump Administration. The National Archives and Records Administration. URL: https://www.archives.gov/foia/pra-trump-admin?_ga=2.201281257.690685044.1604932002-1957136697.1555524185
Schulman K. The Digital Transition: How the Presidential Transition Works in the Social Media Age. Obama White House Archives. 31 october 2016. URL: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/10/31/digital-transition-how-presidential-transition-works-social-media-age
Schulman K. The Obama Administration Digital Transition: Moving Forward. Obama White House Archives. 17 january 2017. URL: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2017/01/17/obama-administration-digital-transition-moving-forward Shear M., Haberman M., Confessore N., Yourish K., Buchanan L., Collins K. How Trump reshaped the Presidency in over 11,000 tweets. The New York Times. 2 november 2019. URL: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/02/us/politics/trump-twitter-presidency.html
Social Media Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center. Washington, D.C. 7 april 2021. URL: https://www.pewresearch.org/ internet/fact-sheet/social-media/
Statista Research Department. Number of social network users in the United States from 2017 to 2026. Statista. 5 august 2021. URL: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278409/number-of-social-network-users-in-the-united-states/
Stats & Rankings for Barack Obama. Twitaholic. URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20120520053012/http://twitaholic.com/BarackObama/
Stats & Rankings for Donald J. Trump. Twitaholic. URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20120510062019/http://twitaholic.com/realDonaldTrump/
Stats & Rankings for White House. Twitaholic. URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20120509134854/http://twitaholic.com/whitehouse/
The Presidential Records Act of 1978. Title 44. Chapter 22 Presidential Records. 14 august 1978. URL: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title44/chapter22&edition=prelim
The White House. President George W. Bush White House Website. The National Archives and Records Administration. 2009. URL: https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/
The White House. President William J. Clinton White House Website. The National Archives and Records Administration. 2001. URL: https://clintonwhitehouse5.archives.gov/index.html
Twitter Inc. Permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump. Twitter. 8 january 2021. URL: https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspension
TwitterGov. What to expect on Twitter on US Inauguration Day 2021. Twitter. 14 january 2021. URL: https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2021/inauguration-2021#
Vile J.R. Biden v. Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University (2021). The First Amendment Encyclopedia. 26 april 2021. URL: https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1907/biden-v-knight-first-amendment-institute-at-columbia-university Wignell P., Tan S., O’Halloran K.L., Chai K. The Twittering Presidents: An analysis of tweets from @BarackObama and @realDonaldTrump. Journal of Language and Politics. 2021. Vol. 20:2. P. 197–225. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.19046.wig
Published
2022-01-20
How to Cite
Triukhan, D. (2022). NEW TRADITIONS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION OF US PRESIDENTS: FORMATION AND FUNCTIONING OF OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNTS. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 4(56), 241-252. Retrieved from https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/2374