Donald Trump doesn't tweet like the other presidential candidates. While they operate their accounts as coordinated parts of their messaging strategies, spiced up with the occasional selfie or meme, Trump's feed is strikingly raw: a place for him to taunt foes, crow about favorable poll numbers, and retweet flattery from his supporters.
That last habit, signal-boosting whatever catches his eye, has gotten Trump into trouble. He drew condemnation last year for retweeting racist, made-up crime statistics, and some tweeters have taken his proclivity for retweets as an opportunity for pranks. While these incidents might have given pause to a more self-aware candidate, Trump has carried on, raising eyebrows last week when he retweeted an account literally named @WhiteGenocideTM.
A name that offensive is hard to miss, but what about everyone else Trump retweets? To better understand the company he keeps, we've built @TrumpRetweeps, a bot that tweets the Twitter bio of everyone Donald Trump retweets.
For instance, on Sunday. Trump retweeted an account with this bio:
and added his own commentary: "So true!"
(If you're unfamiliar the #AltRight hashtag, here's some background.)
If you follow both @TrumpRetweeps and @realDonaldTrump, you should see the bio in your timeline immediately after each retweet. With many in the Republican establishment baffled as to just who Trump's supporters are, we think that's a pretty useful service.
Daniel McLaughlin is a creative technologist exploring the 2016 presidential election. Before joining Fusion, Daniel worked at the Boston Globe and graduated from MIT with a BS in urban studies and planning.