Trump's Digital Revelation: Snark Sells

Whatever can be said about the candidacy of Donald Trump--whether you hate him or love him--he is a spooky representative of so much of what appears on online.

On message boards, and in the back-and-forths between Facebook friends who often form tag teams beating up the people and political parties they don’t like, the idea of being reall rude is now acceptable.

It's a game of can-you-top this.

Read any big-city daily newspaper’s Web site that allows anonymous comments, and the racial vitriol spewed in story comments is now a built-in feature. Donald Trump speaks to those news consumers, who can’t stand the trappings of political correctness.

They’ve become familiar with a different language via the Internet, and Donald Trump knows that that the best way to register immediate emotion is use the most immediate medium to talk the same way.

No one "stopped" Trump early on because hateful talk is now just all right, and voters have learned that from the media around them.



A few hours ago, Trump wrote this on his Twitter account: “I will be using Facebook and Twitter to expose dishonest lightweight Senator Marco Rubio. A record no-show in Senate, he is scamming Florida.”  

That’s interesting. Trump is announcing that his megaphones of choice to destroy Rubio will be social media. That’s different from other politicians, who have used the Internet to get their message out. Trump is using it to carpet bomb his opponents, with quick, brief attacks.

The marvel of the angry, nasty Tweet or circulated Facebook video is not just that it gets seen there but also transmitted broadly to television viewers at home. Trump’s campaign staff knows what they’re doing.

We had the idea that online video would be used more inventively in this election, pinpointing targeted ads and contribution pitches to certain demographics, or using Periscope to create instant political stages, or to quickly expose gaffes.  

Digital media turns out to be an effective way to circulate nasty words and videos--so much the better now that billions of videos are shared, just between like-minded friends, on Facebook every day.

The reaction against Trump is as slick as his attacks are raw and seemingly off-the-cuff pearls of hate. A new Fine Bros React video  is an example of the former, as young kids watch a Trump speeches and react, with horror, just a little too perfectly, to what’s been said.  

“He speaks his mind,” one little girl says,  “but his mind isn’t right.”  In three days, it has about 2.5 million views on YouTube.

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