Trump cryptic tweet ‘covfefe’ trends on Twitter
WASHINGTON: Not for the first time, a Donald Trump tweet has lit up the internet. But this time, users the world over have been left scratching their heads over “covfefe”: a bizarre word apparently created by the president. “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” read the US leader’s short tweet sent yesterday. Was it an acronym? A secret message? Or just a typo?
Wags around the world weighed in with biting sarcasm, and #covfefe quickly became the top trending item on Twitter. Comments included a mock Google translation of “covfefe” from Russian into English as “I resign,” and comments like “Drain the covfefe”-a play on Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “‘Covfefe is a great word, period! – Sean Spicer tomorrow,” read one tweet, mentioning the president’s spokesman. To avoid confusion, the Regent’s English Language Center in London wrote: “To all of our English language students, we can confirm that ‘covfefe’ is not an English word. Yet.”
At 0910 GMT Trump’s “covfefe” tweet had more than 120,000 retweets and had been shared 39,000 times, according to Twitter figures. Then, around 0945 GMT, more than five hours after it was posted, the mysterious tweet vanished. Soon after Trump himself joined the deciphering game. “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!” he tweeted, in an unusual display of self-depreciating humor. Since entering office, Trump has used Twitter to issue declarations on everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV performance to an alleged “MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany.”
Donald Trump may be lighting up Twitter with strange new words and attacks on allies but in the battle for most attention per tweet the US president is losing. The world leader whose original tweets generate the most retweets is Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, according the latest “Twiplomacy” study by communications firm Burson-Martsteller. In terms of output, there is no contest: the Saudi king only tweeted 10 times during the period covered by the study-April 2016 to May 20 of this year.
But those 10 tweets were each retweeted more than 147,000 times on average, dwarfing Trump’s 13,100 average retweets per tweet, said the study, the sixth of its kind by Burson-Martsteller. “He (King Salman) posts exclusively in Arabic and without any visuals, but every tweet is a digital home run,” said the report, which was based on analysis of 856 official and personal Twitter accounts of leaders in 178 countries. Retweets are only one measure of influence on the social media platform and Trump is gaining ground elsewhere.
With the internet poking fun at his use of the word “covfefe” in a post on Wednesday, which followed his assertion on Twitter that US-German trade was “very bad” for Americans, the report found that @realDonaldTrump could be the most followed world leader account by August. Pope Francis is currently in the lead with a combined 33,716,301 followers over his nine language accounts.
Trump lags by about 3.5 million followers but his account has grown by 5.7 percent per month during the US election and start of his presidency, putting him on track to overtake the pontiff, the report said. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood in third place with 30,058,659 followers.- Agencies