Our analysis revealed a media ecosystem that appears to largely reinforce and affirm the views publicly expressed by Trump and his closest advisers. The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinions.
When it comes to news sources, the stories tweeted by Trump (and the staffers who sometimes manage his Twitter account) suggest that he is unfazed by news of questionable accuracy, likely to rely on hyper-partisan news, and apt to promote mainstream news only when it validates his opinions. While politicians from both sides of the aisle use their Twitter accounts to share content that furthers their agendas, Trump’s reliance on sources and stories of questionable accuracy stands out both in frequency and in engagement. The stories shared by Trump’s account throughout his campaign suggest the president-elect has constructed a powerful online filter bubble that largely flatters and confirms that which he claims to be true.