Donald Trump's use of Facebook Live for apology highlights platform's credentials over traditional media
Following the Washington Post's publication of a tape recording in which Donald Trump was heard boasting about the lewd acts he carried out on unconsenting women, the presidential candidate used Facebook Live to issue a public apology in a move which further strengthens the platform's credentials as an alternative to traditional news broadcasting channels.
The recording was made in 2005 for the Access Hollywood television show hosted by Billy Bush – a cousin of George and Jeb Bush- and captures a conversation between Trump and Bush which took place on a bus before they were in camera shot.
In the recording Trump can be heard making obscene boasts about how he leverages his fame to sexually prey on women. The then newly married Trump says: "I am automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss, I don’t even wait … and when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Bush repartees with Trump who goes on to say: " “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Republican leaders who have publically endorsed Trump, including speaker of the house, Paul Ryan and senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have condemned the 70 year-old reality TV star.
Hours after the Post published the video Trump took to Facebook Live to issue an apology saying:
Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it. I am wrong. I apologize.
“I’ve never said I am a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I am not. I’ve said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than decade-old video are one of them.”
Trump has previously praised Twitter having made such remarks on the platform as "I love Twitter.... it's like owning your own newspaper--- without the losses". He is also a heavy user of Twitter so his decision to turn to Facebook Live to deliver his apology before publishing it on Twitter illustrates the appeal which Facebook Live now has for delivering public addresses.
The use of the two social media platforms throughout the presidential campaign serves as yet another example to the evolving nature of politics as a result of social media and technology in general. The platforms have allowed Trump and his campaign to each millions of followers without the need to buy ads and have also allowed his to keep journalists, who may ask difficult questions, at bay.
At the time of writing, Trump had 11,054,743 likes on his Facebook page.