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Trump Campaign Must Delete Another Post After Daytona 500 Photo Is Revealed To Be From 2004

Gettyimages | SAUL LOEB
By Chad Skiles

The Trump campaign has committed another error in their social media game.

It was not the President himself this time, who has had his fair share of criticism for his timbre on social media. But the latest gaff did not come from very far down the pecking order.

On Sunday, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted a photo of Air Force One present at the race, surrounded by a sizable crowd (more on that later). His caption read: “.@realDonaldTrump won the #Daytona500 before the race even started.”

The tweet proved not be so much of a win.

The picture was quickly ousted as a 2004 picture of then-President George W. Bush's Air Force One landing at the Daytona 500. The internet is still undefeated, it seems.

Gettyimages | Jonathan Ferrey

“I have a lot of talented colleagues photographing the Daytona 500 this year,” said Jonathan Ferrey, who photographed the 2004 image, seen above.

“I am unfortunately not there today, but apparently I won the Daytona 500 photography before the race even started.”

The campaign seems to be having bad luck at premiere sporting events. President Trump was widely mocked for his muffed congratulations to the Super-Bowl champs of "Kansas".

Parscale replaced the tweet with a new photo, seen below. He decided to keep the same caption.

Gettyimages | Mark Sagliocco

It raises a larger question: is this incompetence, or something worse? In a campaign that many project to be one of "digital warfare," Parscale is heralded as a "secret weapon" among the staff.

His expertise in "micro-targeting" is well-known. Given that it was a breakthrough strategy—widely considered to be a critical component to the '12 Obama campaign's success—Parscale's presence in the campaign is unsurprising.

However, the lines of fact and fiction have increasingly blurred as this technology has become more integral to political campaigns.

Gettyimages | Piotrekswat

One study finds that the extent of micro-targeting has created a "global problem". Certainly in the U.S., the feverish cries of "fake news" has become part of the nation's vocabulary.

But—getting back to the recent tweet—given Parscale's expertise, it is reasonable to think that it would be hard for him to make such an overt mistake.

And given the role that misinformation plays in today's politics, it also reasonable to think it would have been a calculated decision. Of course, it could also be human error. But if it isn't, then why?

Gettyimages | Drew Angerer

Well, the answer could lie in the President's well-documented fixation with crowd sizes.

In Ferrey's 2004 photo used in the original tweet, the crowd looks fuller, and the image of the jet is arguably more presidential—particularly when compared to the replacement.

Regardless, the Trump campaign's social media use has been controversial in one form or another. It may all be in the spirit of Trump's self-admitted tactics of enhancing perception, and above all, creating publicity.

He wrote in his Art of the Deal, “Bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all.”

Well, by that measure, the President may be "winning before the race even started" all over again.

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