Jenna Golden’s most inspiring Twitter moment of the Republican National Convention is a simple one. When the head of political advertising sales for Twitter departed Washington, D.C, for Cleveland, she sent a tweet: “Here we go. DCA > CLE ✈ #GOPConvention #RNCinCLE.” Within 2 seconds Golden received a response from the official Host Committee (@2016CLE): “See you soon! If you need anything during your visit in Cleveland, hit us up at #AskCLE.” “It was really amazing,” she says. “The way that people have adopted Twitter to have these conversations, makes me not only really proud to work here but proud of the power of the platform on the small scale all the way to the large scale.” We sat down with Golden on the rooftop bar at the Greenhouse Tavern, which has been transformed into the #TwitterDistrict during the convention, to get her views on social media’s role in democracy, emojis and Jonathon Sawyer’s food.
On the role of Twitter at the convention: Twitter is very much at the center of the democratic process. This is the platform that people are coming to to talk about the issues that they’re passionate about, to engage with their constituents. We really believe that what’s happening on Twitter is mimicking exactly what’s happening in the world.
On Twitter Live, which offers users the ability to watch the convention and Twitter stream about it in the same screen: When people are engaging with a show on television, they’re watching it and tweeting at the same time. It’s no longer screaming at the television by yourself. You’ve got millions of people to talk to about that moment that’s taking place. … What we’re seeing on the live stream is the video at the top of the screen and below you’ll see tweets from influencers and people who are engaging on that topic, so it’s not only tying together that actual video, it’s also bringing in the conversation around that video and bringing the context to life.
On how social media changed political discourse: What we believe is that Twitter has given a voice to people who otherwise didn’t have a voice previously. We’re seeing massive conversations, whether it’s Black Lives Matter movement or what’s even happening right here with the RNC: #RNCinCLE and #GOPconvention. It really allows people to share their perspective, also build communities. What I think it’s done is allow movements to be seen when otherwise they previously would not have been seen.
On protest: Protesters are just like everybody else on Twitter. Everybody has a voice. Everybody has a right to be on the platform and to share their perspectives. But it’s really just one piece of the conversation that’s happening here in Cleveland and at the convention.
On the most tweeted emojis on Day 2 of the RNC, which were tears of joy, the American flag and loudly crying: There are large conversations on Twitter on all sides of the spectrum. So we’re seeing people who are excited to be here, who are really inspired by the speeches that are taking place and who are feeling very patriotic. At the same time, we’re seeing a lot of people who feel differently, watching this on television and are maybe on the other side of the aisle and maybe feel disappointed or disheartened. So that’s what we’re seeing on Twitter with the emojis. Interestingly enough, the most retweeted tweet of the convention has been a Hillary Clinton tweet. It really is everybody tuning in, everybody engaging, and that’s why we’re seeing conflicting emojis.
On her favorite Greenhouse Tavern dish: The french fries are unbelievable. Those have been unreal. I also had a bucatini that he did last night that had all sorts of vegetables, ricotta and an egg yolk. It was totally to die for. Then also the chocolate cake with pretzels and that buttered popcorn pot de crème that he’s famous for. And the Brussels sprouts.