A quiet movement to break down Donald Trump’s so-called social media ego is growing on Twitter.
Fans of the “Unfollow Trump” Twitter account are urging others to join the campaign to unfollow the president-elect’s official Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, and instead follow @unfollowtrump for their daily dose of Trump tweets.
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The account automatically quotes the president-elect’s tweets, without actually retweeting the messages, in hopes of taking the satisfaction of seeing engagement on his account away from Trump.
Why the duplication, you might ask? It’s all in a bid to break down Trump’s ego.
“It’s clear that Trump takes Twitter seriously with how he values himself and how he communicates with people,” @unfollowtrump creator Jacob Shwirtz told Global News.
“His account obviously impacts his ego.”
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Shwirtz, a social media professional from New York, started the account shortly after Trump was elected in November. After noticing many of Trump’s followers aren’t actually supporters, he thought a small, yet valid, form of protest might be to encourage those people to unfollow his official account.
Trump’s Twitter account has been a controversial yet important part of his journey to the oval office. He is widely credited for using Twitter to help propel himself to victory in the election and has made headlines for lashing out at at critics, companies and celebrities alike on the social media site in the months following.
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But his use of social media will likely be an important part of his presidency, especially when tweeting about his controversial campaign promises, like the Mexican border wall, and his ability to impact the stock market with tweets about companies.
“I think the premise of giving people an alternate account to follow is valid, because he judges himself on his number of followers,” said Shwirtz.
“He equates followers with supporters – so it’s important for people who don’t support him, but still want to know what he’s saying to, to unfollow him.”
Despite the reach and impact Trump’s tweets have, the soon-to-be president currently sits at number 68 on the list of the most followed people and accounts on Twitter. At time of publishing, Trump had 20.6 million followers – but that number is dwarfed by the likes of Katy Perry, who holds the top spot of most followers with over 95 million.
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President Barack Obama’s personal account holds the fourth spot on the list with just over 80 million followers.
Shwirtz’s idea might seem strange – after all, one could argue that he is only giving Trump more attention – but the small social media protest seems to be catching on with some.
The account, which boasts just over six thousand followers, has been rapidly growing in the week leading up to the inauguration.
While Shwirtz admits this type of protest is a small gesture, he hopes the account will resonate with people who don’t want to equate their follow with a show of support for the incoming president, but still want to be informed about what Trump is saying.
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Of course, the @POTUS Twitter handle and other White House social media accounts will be wiped clean and handed over to the next president after Trump is inaugurated, according to a White House blog post.
But Trump is still expected to tweet from his personal account, much like President Obama did.