A Twitter co-founder has issued an apology for the role of the social media platform in Donald Trump’s ascension to the throne otherwise known as the United States presidency. Evan Williams, former chairman and CEO of the company, expressed his regret for what has become of Twitter and the country.
Williams said in an interview with the New York Times that the “internet is broken.” When he created Twitter, Williams believed that “once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place.” He was never so wrong in his life.
Trump has a lot to thank Twitter for. He recognizes the importance of the social networking site during his campaign and even until now that he has served as the president of the country for more than a hundred days now. He gamely said in an interview with the Financial Times that “without the tweets, I wouldn’t be here.”
In another interview with Fox in March, the businessman-turned-politician reiterated that he “wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.” He explained that he gets so much “fake press” and “such dishonest press” which signifies that he utilizes Twitter to say what is true in his mind. Williams responded to Trump’s claim by saying that “if it is true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”
Trump was an avid Twitter even before he beat Hillary Clinton for the most respected position in the country. On the day of his inauguration, Trump received the POTUS handle previously used by former president Barack Obama. Trump immediately created a stir when those responsible for the transition of the Twitter account made a major faux pas. At the same time as Trump was being sworn in, the POTUS account changed from who many consider as arguably one of the best presidents the United States ever had to one of the most controversial heads of state in history. The problem was that the new owner used an old image from the Obama inauguration and tried to pass it off as Trump’s.
Even after the win, Trump continued to attack his detractors through Twitter, an act seen by many as unbecoming of someone of his stature. He even tweeted that he would’ve won the popular vote if he was not cheated. He claimed in the November 27 tweet that “in addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
CNET reiterated that people close to Trump are worried that his use of Twitter could lead to some “dire consequences”. If this is to come true, then the thing that helped get Trump elected may also be his downfall.