Tuesday 16 January 2018

Google suggests people don't know if Donald Trump's Twitter account is real

Donald Trump (Photo: Somodevilla/Getty)
Donald Trump (Photo: Somodevilla/Getty)

Andrew Griffin

Donald Trump's Twitter account might claim to be real. But Google suggests that people actually think it's anything but.

Typing "realdonaldtrump" – the President's Twitter handle – into Google brings up a range of automatic suggestions. The first of those is "fake", and the third is "twitter fake".

The automatic suggestions are based on what people are actually searching for and how those words are used on the internet.

The searches appear to be a consequence of people seeing Mr Trump's tweets and wondering whether they are actually being sent from the President.

Twitter users have suggested that people are concerned that the account might actually a parody, set up to ridicule Mr Trump.

It isn't clear whether everyone searching for "fake" believes that Mr Trump's account isn't real. They might also be looking for the reason that the President includes the word "real" in his handle, despite there apparently being no reason to.

Mr Trump does appear to own the actual @DonaldTrump handle, without the real placed in front of it. That account uses the same pictures as Mr Trump's main account, and exists only to refer them to it – both its bio and the only tweet posted from it send people to @realDonaldTrump.

There are a range of Twitter accounts that more or less obviously impersonate the President. Many of those do so by making themselves look as much like the real ones as possible – swapping letters around, for instance – and then posting satirical messages.

Searches for "donald trump fake" surged at the time of the election, according to Google Trends. They then picked up around the inauguration, and interest has dropped off slightly but is still very strong.

Independent News Service

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