President Joe Biden raised some eyebrows over the weekend when he joined Truth Social, the social media platform that former President Donald Trump founded after being kicked off Twitter following the January 6 riot.
Truth Social is generally associated with conservatism and is still obscure relative to X (formerly known as Twitter).
Cheekily, Trump welcomed Biden to the platform – with a jab of course.
“We are heading to World War III because of grossly incompetent leadership, headed by a President that doesn’t have a clue, although he did have the sense to just join TRUTH, the real VOICE OF AMERICA,” Trump wrote. “Congratulations Joe, at least, on that!”
Trump and Biden are expected to win their respective party’s nominations, setting up a rematch of the 2020 election.
Biden gaining followers quickly
Truth Social users have flocked to the new Biden campaign account, no doubt curious to see what all the fuss is about. The account, named “Biden-Harris HQ,” has attracted more followers (34,800) in just a few days than the Trump campaign account, named “Team Trump,” has total (28,900).
“After just two days, the Biden campaign already has more followers than the Trump campaign on Truth Social,” Parker Butler, the director of digital rapid response for Biden-Harris HQ, wrote on X. Apparently, it’s not just aspiring teenage influencers tracking their followers, deriving value from their amount of followers – it’s also presidential campaigns.
Asked why Biden’s team joined Truth Social, Butler offered a flippant answer. “We just joined Truth Social, mostly because we thought it would be very funny.”
Biden’s decision to join Truth Social is funny. But I suspect there may have been a deeper reasoning, namely, outreach to voters who aren’t hanging out in the venues Biden World typically occupies: voters who aren’t on X; voters who don’t read The New York Times or The New Yorker; voters who don’t watch Morning Joe.
There’s very little to lose in posting on Truth Social. The majority of the platform, likely, already despises Biden and will be unpersuadable no matter what Biden posts online (or does in the White House). But someone on Truth Social is amenable to Biden’s messaging. Maybe a little tired on Trump.
Maybe appreciative of Biden’s foreign policy, or legislation, or economic framework (“Bidenomics”). Maybe that amenable voters resides in Arizona or Georgia or Pennsylvania or Michigan – one of the swing-states that’s going to decide the 2024 election. For Biden, there’s no harm in throwing some messaging up on a mid-level social media website.
Biden’s content is going to be deeply criticized no matter where he publishes – Truth Social or X or some local newspaper.
So Biden’s not really opening himself up to some special or uncommon form of criticism when he jumps on Truth Social. He may, however, be putting himself in a position to reach voters he doesn’t typically connect with.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.
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