Twitter Typos: On President Trump’s Media Management

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Trump often makes typos in his tweets.

Clare Malhotra, Staff Writer

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute… And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.” 

In a press conference on April 23, President Donald Trump put forth this suggestion of IV lysol as a cure for coronavirus. After a massive backlash, not only from health experts but from the general public, too, he took back his comment, saying it was sarcastic. “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,” he said at a press conference in the Oval Office the next day. Trump has acknowledged many times that he is not a doctor, so it is possible that his comment was a genuinely sarcastic one. But even still, not everyone who hears it would understand that off the bat. “My concern is that people will die. People will think this is a good idea,” explained New York healthcare professional Craig Spencer to The Washington Post.“This is not willy-nilly, off-the-cuff, maybe-this-will-work advice. This is dangerous.”

It’s not the first time President Trump’s online platform has remained unchecked, or simply un-proofread. In 2017, at some time after midnight, he tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” The sentence ended there, with “covfefe” being a misspelling of the word “coverage.” He deleted the tweet six hours later, which didn’t stop it from going viral as a meme. The #covfefe had been used 1.4 million times just 24 hours after the tweet. President Trump never admitted the word was a misspelling, insisting when asked that it had “deeper meaning.” 

These aren’t the only issues with his Twitter account. In May of 2017, he misspelled the name of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. He confused “council” and “counsel” twice that same month, then describing China’s capturing a United States Navy drone as an “unpresidented act.” He’s confused “to” and “too,” added an extra p to “tap”—the list goes on. Whether these are typos or grammatical errors is unimportant; the issue is they signify a lack of proofreading on the President’s part. He has received heavy criticism for tweeting about his approval ratings in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. While he does have a social media manager, Don Scavino, it’s clear that he either needs a new one, or another one. It’s unclear how much of a role Trump has in his own Twitter, he’s the ninth-most followed person on the social media platform, with 79.7 million followers. If Trump wants his tweets to be more respected, or at least to see more educated and receive less backlash, he should put more attention into them.