President Donald Trump is continuing his criticism of Twitter, the social media platform that now has a recent history of taking action against his tweets. Tuesday evening, the president took to the social media to slam the platform for frequently making him among the trending topics, something that he called "disgusting" and "really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!"
So disgusting to watch Twitter’s so-called “Trending”, where sooo many trends are about me, and never a good one. They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend. Really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020
Ever since winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump has become a popular name floating around Twitter's trending topics. In recent weeks, the upcoming 2020 election combined with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made him appear as a trend even more frequent. Often, such trends have to do with his tweets, his coronavirus response, or comments made during his campaign rallies. In fact, at the time that the president issued his critique Tuesday evening, the Independent reports that the hashtag "Trump Virus" was trending as people condemned his coronavirus response as confirmed cases in the United States surpassed 4.43 million, and deaths reached more than 150,000.
Twitter did not respond to the president's critique. On its website, the platform explains that trending topics "are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and your location." It adds that the algorithm "identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis." The explanation goes on to note that "the number of Tweets that are related to the trends is just one of the factors the algorithm looks at when ranking and determining trends."
The president's tweet marks just the latest clash between him and the social media platform, which was largely sparked in May after Twitter put a "fact check" label for a series of tweets related to mail-in ballots. At the time, the president blasted social media platforms for silencing "conservative voices" and threatened to "strongly regulate, or close them down." Just a day later, the president signed an executive order targeting social media.
Later that month, a tweet from Trump reacting to the Black Lives Matter protests sparked in response to the police killing of George Floyd was marked with a warning label. Twitter explained that "this tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today." In the weeks that have followed, Twitter has taken similar motions, removing videos due to copyright claims or false claims made in them and adding more public interest notices and fact checks to his tweets.