Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Social Media Insight: Is Donald Trump Really Winning?

In recent days, the world has been rocked by Republican front-runner for the US Presidency Donald Trump's comment on his plan to ban all Muslims from entering the US. As the world and, many US citizens, denounce Donald Trump view as un-American, observers are puzzled as to why Donald Trump continues to rise in popularity.

Being the media savvy businessman that he is, Donald Trump is clearly manipulating social media to create this effect. An analysis of his recent post will show that he has cleverly used three social media techniques to perpetuate this false impression.

Firstly, Trump uses Avatar (Dan Vieira in this case) to fight his social media campaign. Next, Trump used his Avatar to comment immediately after his post so as to shape the conversation and to create the perception that other Americans held similar views as Trump. And thirdly, Trump boosted the Avatar's comment by driving likes to keep it at the top of the comment list so that it continues to shape and influence the online conversation.

Thus, as far as we can analyze, Donald Trump's comments are very likely not representative of the American people and he is not as popular as people are led to believe. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have the social media sophistication to see through Trump's trickery and many will be lulled into joining the bandwagon and voting for Trump simply because they think others are.

Social Media is a dangerous tool. Used wrongly by someone with the know-how, or money to buy the know-how, it can literally be used for unethical purposes. We can only hope that the adage that you cannot lie to all the people all of the time will come true and Americans will realize that they are being manipulated by Donald Trump and not vote for him.

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