AP discovers that Twitter is a thing in 2016 presidential race, applies ‘both sides do it’ filter

Remember in 2012, when everyone was all, “Wow, social media is such a big part of this election. That is very new”? The Associated Press doesn’t.

So entrenched has Twitter become in the 2016 election that it can be difficult to remember just how new it is in this context. Four years ago, candidates Obama and Mitt Romney were just testing the waters with social media. This year, it’s a major source of information — political and otherwise — for a huge number of Americans. In a Pew Research Center poll last January, 44 percent of adults said they had learned about the election in the previous week from social media, more than cited print newspapers.

Uh, four years ago, according to the very same Pew Research Center, President Obama’s campaign social media accounts had more followers than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton today and his campaign was


So now that the AP has established that it doesn’t know what it’s talking about, what’s it talking about? Headline: “The Trump-Clinton Twitter war: Bludgeon vs. stiletto.” (Alternate headline: “We are running low on ‘both sides do it’ stories to write.”) The upshot is basically that Donald Trump likes to tweet himself, and this leads to him tweeting attacks on former beauty queens in the middle of the night and retweeting a lot of white supremacists, while Clinton’s Twitter accounts are largely controlled by staff and therefore tweet the things you would expect a professional campaign to tweet. Ergo, bludgeon (personal insults and white supremacists) vs. stiletto (campaign stuff and the occasional carefully deployed meme). And it’s not a part of how campaigns work in 2016, it’s a “Twitter war.” Okay, then.

Hot off the presses, guys. The news you can’t live without.

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