What: A surprising “like” on Twitter.
Who: The President of the United States of America
Why we care: For the past couple months, Sunday nights on Twitter have been the setting for a surging discussion about the fourth season of HBO’s Insecure. Thousands of viewers post their opinions about whether Issa (creator/star Issa Rae) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) could possibly rekindle their relationship, or more importantly, if Issa will ever forgive her former best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) for . . . well, she knows what she did. Last night, though, the last person anyone might expect to have an opinion on the matter appeared to weigh in.
Apparently, Donald Trump smashed the like button on the tweet below, from an account with fewer than 200 followers:
This is how I wanted tonight's episode of insecure to end…Damn Molly pic.twitter.com/iYnLmPCPYk
— Shea Butter Kneecaps (@shiningheaux) June 8, 2020
A lot of people on Twitter, some of whom have bots set up alerting them to the president’s Twitter activities noticed.
please don’t tell me that in the midst of all of this trump is watching insecure………. https://t.co/bVVpyqND0N
— nadirah (@hinadirah) June 8, 2020
First came the inevitable wave of memes, this being the internet and all.
Donald Trump every sunday night during insecure pic.twitter.com/FZzivuzLij
— 'Black on Black crime' does not exist (@kunleidoscope) June 8, 2020
Trump when Insecure doesn’t end like he wants it to pic.twitter.com/R4d6D99Tw6
— Lalo Fan. (@shirts0) June 8, 2020
Trump? Insecure? pic.twitter.com/Zo37JUZzxM
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) June 8, 2020
Mostly, though, people seemed to need an explanation. How could something like this happen? It’s hard to imagination Donald Trump watching anything on TV that isn’t Fox News or a version of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport that edits out the talking parts.
The speculation began in tandem with the memes. Was it a slip of his finger? A more sinister kind of confused mistake? The result of insider misinformation? Or, as many have cheekily suggested, was Donald Trump simply searching the word “insecure” for other reasons and clicked the first thing he saw?
One possible explanation cropped up in the below response from journalist Yashar Ali.
It’s a newly created bot account. Him liking it will draw followers to it. So tomorrow or in a couple of days when that account starts attacking black people it’ll look legitimate. He’s growth hacking.
— Dimplez ???????? (@Dimplez) June 8, 2020
A Twitter user by the name of Dimplez suggests that this “like” is the product of Trump’s comms team trying to engineer a credible fake Black user to eventually drum up fake MAGA support that the team can point out later to further establish Trump’s racial bona fides. It’s certainly possible. However, it seems like a heavy lift just to grow a fake account. Especially when that account has barely seen a follower uptick overnight, even after an outpouring of Twitter speculation.
What’s much more likely is that the speculation itself is the end goal here.
Here is a sampling of what comes up when you search “Trump Insecure” right now:
Holy shit. Donald Trump watches Insecure?!?!?!
— Greg (@waltisfrozen) June 8, 2020
Who had Donald Trump watches Insecure on their 2020 bingo cards?! pic.twitter.com/bB2SfTORF4
— Meredith (@meralee727) June 8, 2020
The revelation that Trump watches Insecure is so mind shattering.
I don’t know how to process this
— Edgar Momplaisir (@edgarmomplaisir) June 8, 2020
Everybody who is talking about it must know that Trump doesn’t watch Insecure, but they can’t resist engaging with the idea that he does, if just to make fun of it. Now that racial issues are at the forefront of the national conversation, Trump’s team must surely prefer that people talk about whether Trump is a secret stan of HBO’s Black-centered dramedy than whether he may have just teargassed peaceful protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally.