Article originally published 28/07/2016: due to a technical issue this article may have resurfaced for some readers, and the original publish date may not have been visible.
His supporters hoped Donald Trump would make the internet great again but the Presidential hopeful’s Reddit AMA saw him give wallpaper answers to questions that were well within his comfort zone.
Trump’s question-and-answer session on the site trumpeted as the “front page of the internet”, taking place as he flew to Ohio, allowed him to take aim at “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, bash immigrants and promise to repeal ‘Obamacare’ - all familiar Trump tropes.
Despite Reddit’s Wild West reputation, Trump featured in ‘r/The_Donald’ - a user-created “subreddit” of devotees that was something approaching a “safe space” for the Republican candidate. From the outset, r/The_Donald organisers said troublemakers would be banned and “trolling comments” removed.
In the event, he was asked 22,000 questions and answered just eight of them. And, on the stroke of an hour, he was gone.
The session started promisingly, with Trump raising expectations that it would be “SO huge”. He wrote:
“Hello The_Donald readers and the entire Reddit community ― this is going to be SO huge and I’m looking forward to answering your questions. I’m doing this in flight to visit the great people of Toledo, OH, so Internet connection might be spotty ― I promise you, I’ll answer all the questions I can. I want to do BIG things for America and as your President, I WILL Make America Great Again!”
It was also getting a little unhinged: a reference to the beloved chant directed at Clinton.
Hopes were raised further when professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos, fresh from a permanent ban from Twitter, entered the fray.
Trump went there, too, but bunted rather than smash the thing out of the park.
The “Crooked Hillary” motif continued when asked a serious, potentially interesting question.
Hmm. The greatest hits tour continued when questioned about how health insurance costs have “skyrocketed” under President Obama.
Many of the questions were on Republican hot-button issues (media bias, Edward Snowden) and there was nothing on fighting one either a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses - the question oft posed to celebrities that has made Reddit’s name.
Tellingly, practical questions about building “The Wall” on the Mexican border were side-stepped.
File under ‘meh’.