Instagram: The New Political War Room?
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
It's hard to say what role this confrontation will play in the presidential campaign because the issue has been overshadowed. It's not a central issue for Donald Trump. His combative style has gained plenty of attention and now forces opponents to change their use of social media. Here's NPR's Sam Sanders.
SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: For weeks on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has been taking jabs at Jeb Bush. Recently, Trump moved the fight to Instagram with short videos attacking Bush. The most stinging - Jeb's mother, Barbara Bush, saying he shouldn't even run.
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BARBARA BUSH: There are a lot of great families. There are just other people out there that are very qualified, and we've had enough Bushes.
SANDERS: Well, this week, Jeb Bush shot back with a video of his own. In the clip, Trump is asked why he's even a Republican. He responds...
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DONALD TRUMP: I have no idea.
SANDERS: Up until now, politicians have had only one kind of personality on Instagram.
KERRIC HARVEY: It's been very G-rated.
SANDERS: That's Kerric Harvey. She's the author of the "Encyclopedia Of Social Media And Politics." She says usually politicians use Instagram to make themselves more likable. They post charming photos with constituents, shots of them holding babies or even what they had for lunch that day.
HARVEY: Creating that warm, cuddly feeling with current followers and attracting would-be followers to them as people.
SANDERS: Connecting, not disrupting. Harvey says this recent shift to combat mode is bigger than Trump and Jeb Bush, though. She argues that all social media starts out clean, intimate, and then it changes.
HARVEY: All those models have moved away from a really personal type of social media to becoming a forum for public discussion and political discourse. That same space that used to be your living room becomes the steps of the Supreme Court.
SANDERS: What's happening on Instagram has happened before with Facebook and Twitter. You know how political those spaces are now. And old-school political attacks moving to Instagram is just the latest example of how we reshape new media to fit what we've known before.
HARVEY: It's like going to the moon and rebuilding Las Vegas.
SANDERS: So expect more of this. If any candidate has experience in building Las Vegas, it's Donald Trump. Sam Sanders, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.