All eyes on Trump the tweetaholic as he begins India trip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA74 at United Nations on Sep 24, 2019. (Photo: IANS/MEA)

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) For US President Donald Trump, Twitter is just a typewriter which takes him to television, breaking news, on Facebook and all over the place instantly to make sure he is noticed directly and distinctly.

As Trump begins his two-day India visit on Monday, Twitter is set to be back in the limelight the moment he tweets photos, videos or text in his usual style from a platform which, for him, is “the modern way to communicate”.

His spelling errors and gaffes have minimised in the recent past, but the texture and tonality of his tweets are the same.

Setting the tone of his visit earlier this week, Trump had said that although India doesn’t give the US a fair deal, he is coming because he likes Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I congratulated Prime Minister Modi. I said, ‘But, you know, you have 1.5 billion people. I have 350 million. You have an advantage’,” Trump had said in Las Vegas.

“We’re going to India, and we may make a tremendous deal there, or maybe we’ll slow it down. We’ll do it after the election. I think that could happen too. So we’ll see what happens.

“But we’re only making deals if they’re good deals, because we’re putting America first. Whether people like it or not, we’re putting America first,” the US President had said.

Trump is scheduled to visit India on February 24 and 25. The President and First Lady Melania will spend the first day of the trip in Ahmedabad and Agra before moving to Delhi for the official reception and bilateral talks.

Back on Twitter, Trump lauded the Bollywood gay rom-com “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” on Friday.

“A new #Bollywood rom-com featuring a gay romance is hoping to win over older people, following the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Hurrah!” tweeted @PeterTatchell.

To this, @realDonaldTrump tweeted: “Great!”

There is, however, a distinct change that has been spotted in his tweets over the years.

By analysing the patterns of Trump’s tweets, researchers in September last year found that his posts have become more conversational and engaging than before.

Trump’s tweets varied systematically before, during, and after the 2016 presidential campaign, depending on the communicative goals of the President and his team.

“We find that the account shows clear patterns of stylistic variation over time and argue that these results provide a window into the communication strategy of Trump and his team during the campaign,” said the study’s researcher Jack Grieve from the University of Birmingham.

For the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers downloaded the corpus of tweets sent from the ‘@realDonaldTrump’ Twitter account from 2009 to 2018, which were preserved in the Trump Twitter Archive.

By analysing the patterns of grammatical co-occurrence, the researchers were able to identify four general style variations of Trump’s tweets — 1) conversational 2) campaigning 3) advisory 4) engaged — and observed how these stylistic patterns shifted over time.

However, in December last year, Trump made a Twitter record when he tweeted a whopping 123 times in a couple of hours against the House Judiciary Committee’s decision to initiate impeachment charges against him.

The @realDonaldTrump posted a total of 123 times, including tweets and retweets, breaking a previous record.

Wait till Monday when social media goes ballistic over his maiden India visit, with Twitter leading the pack.

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