Following the Trump Twitter feed allows me to predict the future. It’s true. Simply by following the tweets of a man who a year ago barely registered a blip on my information radar, I am able to predict what will happen in the coming hours, days, and weeks with surprising accuracy. It’s actually a little scary at times.
I am a firm believer that politicians as a group are largely self-serving, egomaniacal, grandstanders preoccupied with radically polarizing views for which most American’s could give a crap. Nevertheless, during the last American election cycle I read with fervent interest about Trump grabbing female genitals, the possibility of voter fraud, and the DNC collaborating with the Clinton campaign—although I was dismayed there were no massive protests in response to Bernie’s effectual ouster as a candidate. I watched as the media cheered for Hillary and #PantSuitNation, disregarding the growing anti-establishment movement and swath of disheartened Americans that would eventually lead to a Trump victory, confirming my suspicions about politicians while adding #mainstreammedia to a growing list of maligned information resources.
After the election there was a shift in reporting. Many outlets began to focus on Trump while resigning other important global issues to the back pages. They reported on protestors during the inauguration rather than refugees in Syria. They described protest marches in excruciating detail and glanced over the compromise of billions of Yahoo accounts. They opined about protests outside airports and they glossed over reports of human trafficking in India. The media was shaping what we saw and feeding off our reactions.
Amidst this trend emerged an opportunity—a possibility—to predict the future. It seemed that the most important news event on any given day was Trump’s tweets. Every tweet, no matter how ridiculous our innocuous resulted in a repeating series of events that could be predicted.
I immediately changed my routine. Rather than jumping to WSJ, AP, or BBC, my first stop became @realDonaldTrump. What had he tweeted overnight? (I live in India, so his day was my night.) What would be the impact the next day? I watched in awe, making detailed notes of each statement and then following up to see the results. Eventually, I developed a model of reactions based on specific criteria that now allows me to predict the future based on Trump’s prolific tweeting.
Since the model deals with simple(ton) variables—Trump and the media—it is fairly straightforward:
As you can see, this model allows anyone to easily predict the effect of a Trump tweet within seconds of it hitting the digital ether. Now, rather than paying attention to every asinine word tweeted from the Oval Office, simply knowing there was a tweet is enough. If there is tweeting, there will be nothing else reportable happening anywhere on earth. We can relax the rest of the week knowing that the Donald’s “FAKE NEWS” will occupy everyone for the next few days.
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