How I Got Twitter Blocked By Donald Trump
It’s no secret that the Commander-in-Chief loves him some Twitter. Whether drifting into an Ambien-induced slumber and publishing or blasting off slightly more lucid screed about crowd sizes, fake news, or one of his other myriad bees in his bonnet, Donald Trump just can’t help himself.
I’ve been a long time Twitter user myself, though I have neither the addiction level nor follower count of the President. Like everyone outside of his most fervent acolytes, I assumed the guy would slink off on November 9th with his tail between his legs to start his TV channel and churn up more frothing bigotry from the heartland. Instead, I found myself in the same waking nightmare as 2/3 of the country and most of the world.
In the weeks leading up to his inauguration, I became more and more frustrated by the vitriol, idiocy, and bold-faced lies the man was tweeting out. During those dark moments, I found comfort in the fact that the top replies to each of his absurd proclamations were funny and/or intelligent voices of opposition.
I realized that I too could partake in the fun and spit in the eye of the man who was revealing himself to be a tyrant more and more each day. I had a verified account, a sizable chunk of followers, and plenty of experience pissing off conservatives, so why not give it a go?
“I realized that I too could partake in the fun and spit in the eye of the man who was revealing himself to be tyrant more and more each day.”
I set an alert so I would be notified the second a new Trump tweet went live so I could fire off my rejoinders right away. I’d picked up that being one of the first to clap back was essential in a Trump reply gaining traction with likes and retweets. And the more of those you got, the further up the message thread totem pole your reply would sit, thus perpetuating the cycle.
I started replying to each Trump tweet, rapidly crafting a riposte perfectly suited to his statement. I took care to never result to the uninspired name calling I’d seen from some of Trump’s more crass detractors. The worst I got was a one word reply of “pussy” to his announcement that he’d be avoiding the White House Press Correspondence Dinner.
Trump was sworn in as President and, after a humiliatingly small crowd compared to the Women’s March against him, his Twitter presence became even more erratic and short-fused. Through all this, I stayed on topic and called out the President on his policies or the misdeeds I was certain he’d committed.
I soon found myself pulling in tons of likes, retweets, and followers. I even wound up as the top reply to a Trump tweet on multiple occasions. The constant stream of notifications was like hitting the dopamine jackpot. I was having fun and feeling more optimistic about the future based on the idiocy of most of the Trump defenders coming out of the woodwork in my mentions.
As my notoriety in their circles grew, and I was repeatedly asked why I was frittering away my life trolling the President, I pushed forward, unwavering. I explained that, if I truly saw the President as a threat to the country and world I love so dearly (and I did/do), it was not just my right but my obligation to oppose and needle him at all available opportunities. My Twitter hater pals and I weren’t just attempting to take out a tyrant with death by 1,000 cuts. We were also, hopefully, offering beacons of hope and resistance to those out there who were also feeling helpless or trapped in a community where they were unable to voice their dissent.
I’m sure I’m up my own ass a little with all that, but the point is it was fun and cathartic.
On June 1st, Trump tweeted a rather uninspired “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” apropos of nothing, to which I offered an equally whatever “your impeachment will be a start.” Neither of our best work. Still, no cussing, no tiny hands remarks, just an expression of desire to see him removed from office.
A short while later, I was no longer able to see the tweet I’d replied to. I’d officially been blocked. This didn’t come as too great a shock as the thin-skinned POTUS had been on a bit of a streak, blocking journalists and his more vocal critics over the prior week.
I spent the next few days basking in the glow of my newly minted badge of honor. “Being blocked by Trump is the new verified,” my friend and fellow blockee Jules Suzdaltsev opined. When the back-patting and congrats from friends and family ended, I was forced to grapple with my new less-fun reality free of Trump tweets.
I soon learned that there was already a class-action case brewing on whether or not such a block violates 1st Amendment rights, seeing as Don is a public figure and Tweets from his personal Twitter account are considered official statements. Legally speaking, the case isn’t tight enough to be anything more than virtue signaling. I added my name to the list, because why not, but I expect nothing to come of it.
For now, I’m not going to stress over my banishment. I’m trying to appreciate my time pissing off Trump for the lark it was. But who knows what the future holds? Word on the street is there are a few workarounds for us blocked users. So keep an eye on Trump’s tweets. You might just catch me in those replies yet again.
Featured image by Esther Vargas via Flickr.