According to a new Gallup poll, only 8% of Americans say they follow President Donald Trump directly on Twitter while 76% see, read, or hear about his tweets from secondary sources.
Trump’s unprecedented use of the social media platform Twitter as one of his primary means of presidential communication appears to be effective from a big-picture perspective, Gallup adds.
Trump views his use of Twitter as a way of sending unfiltered opinions and views directly to the public. In June 2017, Trump tweeted: “The FAKE MSM [mainstream media] is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.”
But while a large majority of Americans ultimately hear about his tweets and the news they generate, few Americans say they read Trump’s tweets unfiltered, directly from Twitter. Instead, most appear to read or learn about them indirectly, through either other social media or the broader news media.
Only 26% of Americans have a Twitter account, and 30% of that group — or 8% of the overall U.S. population — personally follow Trump’s official Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump).
Fifty-five percent of those who follow Trump on Twitter say they read all or most of his tweets, with another 25% saying they read some. Taking all of this into account, 4% of Americans overall have a Twitter account, follow Trump’s account and read all or most of his tweets.
The percentage reading Trump’s tweets directly rises to 6% when including those who say they read some of his postings. The corollary of the finding that relatively few Americans read Trump’s tweets directly on Twitter is that most of those who say they see, read or hear a lot or a fair amount about his tweets — 69% — are getting their information from a secondary source.
Some of their access to his tweets could be relatively straightforward, such as when a friend forwards a tweet or when a tweet is reprinted directly in a publication and the person reads only the tweet. But Americans’ awareness of Trump’s tweets is more commonly the result of an indirect, filtered dissemination.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 1-13, 2018, on the Gallup U.S. Poll, with a random sample of 2,806 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
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