Twitter + Trump has the simulated efficacy of a video game. RT fast to destroy this boss, level up, take on new boss pic.twitter.com/XCF5aECaKu
— Noah J. Toly (@noahtoly) March 12, 2016
I say this as someone who RTd about a million things as #TrumpChicago unfolded tonight.
But when it comes to Twitter + Trump, I fear that things are quite a bit worse than suggested above. It’s not just that many of us are out there channeling our 12-year-old gamerselves.
At their best, I fear, #NeverTrump and other anti-Trump social media campaigns preach to the choir, connecting with others in our echo chamber and inspiring them to a similarly twitchy tweetstorm. Just maybe they help people think strategically about how Trump might be stopped.
On the other hand, even anti-Trump social media campaigns give Trump more airtime (just like his canceled rally in Chicago tonight resulted in multiple appearances on the cable news channels covering the event). And at their worst they may harden his supporters – I don’t think any Trump supporters are out there saying, “Huh. Did you see that tweet about Trump? I’m beginning to rethink my vote.”
I don’t think it’s time to stop anti-Trump social media campaigns. But if Trump needs to be reminded that a presidential campaign isn’t a reality TV show – and I do think he needs to be reminded – then some of us may likewise need to be reminded that this isn’t a video game. It’s going to take a lot more than social media to bring down this boss.