Compared: Biden and Trump's first presidential weeks on Twitter

One week into his presidency, we look at the differences between Biden and Trump's tweeting style

Joe Biden has taken a vastly different approach to tweeting compared to Donald Trump, but will it stay that way for the long haul? AFP
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From domestic and foreign policy overhauls to decorative changes inside the White House Oval Office, US President Joe Biden wasted no time sending the message that he intends to do things differently than his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Those seeking to best illustrate the differences should look no further than Twitter to see a stark contrast between President Biden and Mr Trump.

"For Biden, it appears he is using Twitter as a clearing house for his administration's initial actions and not as a personal representation of himself," said Peter Yacobucci, a political science professor at Buffalo State University.

"The posts are professional and clearly not a stream of consciousness like Trump's tweets," he said.

Mr Yacobucci said that during President Biden's first week in office, he did not use Twitter as a platform to attack others, something Mr Trump did frequently throughout his presidency.

Although his account was deleted from Twitter, most of Donald Trump's tweets have been saved on TheTrumpArchive.com. Here's a look at some of the tweets from his first week in office. 

"That is not Biden's style and never has been," he said. "Trump thrived in conflict."

Although several of Mr Trump's tweets shortly after his 2017 inauguration celebrated the tradition of the transition of power and the excitement surrounding the ceremony, he quickly turned his attention to violence in Chicago.

"If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings," he wrote, "I will send in the Feds!"

Also during his first week, Mr Trump made a point to reference unproven claims of voter fraud to try to blunt any potential fall-out from him losing the popular vote several weeks earlier to Hillary Clinton.

"I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and those registered to vote who are dead," he tweeted.

This particular word cloud shows some of the words most frequently used by Donald Trump during his first week as president in 2017. 

Mr Trump was also not shy about promoting upcoming network TV interviews and speeches. He also praised Fox News, known for its conservative slant, while criticising other US news networks.

"Congratulations to @FoxNews for being number one in inauguration ratings. They were many times higher than FAKE NEWS @CNN," he tweeted.

Thus far, Mr Biden has not used Twitter to promote any particular network, nor has he used the platform to promote TV interviews.

Mr Biden's tweets have largely consisted of brief recaps of actions he took earlier in the day. His posts also, thus far, have focused on plans to fight coronavirus, Cabinet nominees and occasional tweets showing recent speeches.

"Biden is much more outward whereas Trump was insular,"  Mr Yacobucci said.

"In addition, it was clear right from the beginning Trump was attempting to control the narrative about his presidency, while Biden does not seem so self-conscious."

However,  Mr Yacobucci said that in the grand scheme of things, Mr Biden may have adopted a thing or two from Mr Trump's use of social media.

"Overall, they have learnt that Twitter is now an essential element of any administration's communication tools," he said, referring to Mr Trump's prolific use of the platform.

"While not yet apparent, I am sure they realise it is an important tool to send up trial balloons on policy initiatives and messaging."

In terms of tweet frequency, including retweets, it seems Mr Biden has posted the same number of tweets during his first week as did Mr Trump, although Mr Biden's tweets tend to be lengthier.

The grammar of Mr Biden's tweets is more conventional as well, whereas Mr Trump tended to be prone to spelling errors, shorthand and incomplete sentences.

This word cloud shows some of the words most frequently used by President Joe Biden in his tweets. 

Even though some might describe his Twitter approach as conservative to some degree, that choice has not hurt President Biden's tweet engagement by any means.

After his first tweet after being sworn in, Mr Biden received almost 600,000 likes and 91,000 retweets, overtaking Mr Trump's 157,000 likes and 36,000 retweets for his first tweet.

A major difference, perhaps affecting Mr Biden's Twitter style at the moment, could be the fact that his one-time campaign rival has been kicked off the platform for allegedly inciting violence.

Quite simply, Mr Biden has not had to combat the traditional Trump Twitter noise.

Mr Trump's tweets, although recorded by the US National Archives, were removed from Twitter, but can be found on various sites, such as TheTrumpArchive.com.

The Trump tweets must be sought elsewhere, and that, at least for now, gives President Biden an opportunity to keep things simple on the platform.

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