How Donald Trump Has Used Twitter as Bully Pulpit

Several users have reported being blocked by the President-Elect on the social media platform for tweeting negative comments at him.
9:47 | 01/18/17

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Transcript for How Donald Trump Has Used Twitter as Bully Pulpit
at 4:30 A.M. Test Text1 plain controversial habits of our fiery incoming president. Tweeting. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Donald Trump says it's his way of communicating directly with the masses. However, most Americans say they want him to cut it out. Wait until you hear what happened to one high school junior who tweeted at trump and what he has to say about it now. Here's my "Nightline" coanchor juju Chang. Reporter: It's dawn in a suburb outside Detroit. Usually wake me up for a regular day of school. I don't like it. Reporter: And like a typical teenager, part of Antonio delotero's routine, checking his social media. When it comes to Twitter this 16-year-old junior class president is not at all typical. He seems to have made a very powerful enemy. The next president of the united States. Donald Trump. Dubbed the tweeter in chief, trump's use of Twitter, prolific and provocative. All day today trump unleashing a firestorm of tweets. Reporter: Stoking global feuds and controversy here at home. Less than 20 minutes later, the president-elect firing off these tweets. Reporter: One of the main tools he's wielded in his rise to power, his megaphone, aimed not just at the powerful but at individual citizens like Antonio, who dared express a teenager's dissent. I called him a reject cheat toe. It was pretty crazy because it was the first time a tweet of mine has ever received that kind of attention. Reporter: The tweet got thousands of likes and retweets and a lot of hate. And then he was blocked by the real Donald Trump. How do you interpret this man, the next president of the United States, blocking a 16-year-old high school student 92. I thought, okay, my tweet was definitely immature. It was weird to have him block someone. Reporter: Blocking means Antonio could no longer directly see any of Donald Trump's tweets. And he's far from an isolated case. You're blocked by the person in line to become the leader of the free world. I'm now in this group that doesn't -- isn't as important as this other group. Reporter: We spoke to more than a dozen. But since Twitter won't comment on users' blocking habits it's hard to know exactly how many have been blocked. But there were enough that a hash tag was born, #blockedbytrump. Known as commander in tweet trump credits his tweets to helping him win the white house. Between Facebook and Twitter, I have I guess more than 40 million people. That's a modern-day form of communication. I get it out much faster than a press release. Reporter: Now as he's about to take on the mantle of commander in chief, his use of Twitter as his chosen platform to launch political attacks and policy is drawing widespread concern. In fact, a recent survey found that 64% of Americans want trump to shut down his personal Twitter account once he takes office. On the campaign trail, trump himself promised to change his Twitter ways. Don't worry, I'll give it up after I'm president, we won't tweet anymore. Not presidential. Reporter: But just this weekend he reversed course. Telling "The times of London" he's keeping his personal account, claiming, I am covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly. Thank you for the food we're about to receive, amen. Reporter: It was tweet from that personal account plus campaign rhetoric like this -- They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. We have to have a temporary ban on muslims coming into this country. I'm sorry. Reporter: That spurred the then 15-year-old American who's half Middle Eastern, half Cuban, to vent his frustrations on Twitter. As a hispanic-american you took that personally? I did, yeah, for sure. It's two groups of people he has viciously attacked over his election, and it obviously angered me. Reporter: Of course, 16-year-old Antonio has very little in common with conservative radio talk show host Joe Walsh, except one thing. For him to block me because of one or two negative things surprised me. Reporter: The former Republican congressman and vocal trump supporter says he's been blocked by trump since fall of 2015 after criticizing his comments about Megyn Kelly and senator John McCain. What's so ironic is that's what trump says he does. He says what he believes, good or bad. You would think that he would respect somebody who says what they think. Do you think all American citizens should be able to see Donald Trump's tweets? Heck, yes. He's our president. I will say this again, as a trump supporter, Mr. Trump, if you're listening, he is way too thin-skinned. Reporter: Trump's aggressive and unapologetic tweets helped launch his campaign for president. He tweeted early and often about the birther movement, the conspiracy theory that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. It took years for him to back down. Once on the campaign trail, his tweeting went into overdrive. So I've been covering Donald Trump for the past 11 months and I've never actually seen him send a tweet, mostly because he usually tweets during the wee hours of the night or very early in the morning. Reporter: While many of his tweets may seem like impulsive 3:00 A.M. Bombshells, they often masterfully control the news cycle. Donald Trump is a master at manipulating the news cycle and he uses Twitter to help him. One example, he was tweeting that Meryl Streep was overrated at the same time his cabinet nominees were undergoing heated confirmation hearings on capitol hill. Reporter: Since the election he hasn't hesitated to tweet his way into very sensitive territory of global diplomacy, which can rattle unpredictable regimes like North Korea, or strike fear in global corporations. When trump tweets as president-elect it's having an impact. Nowhere can you see that more clearly than in stock prices. For example, when he sent out a negative tweet about lockheed martin, automatically the stock started to fall. Meantime that same tweet mentioned Boeing positively, that stock went up. Reporter: He's not above an errant tweet. Yesterday tweeting at the wrong ivanka, eliciting this response. You're a man with great responsibilities, may I suggest more care on Twitter and more time learning about climate change? The trump team didn't respond to our requests for comment. What about Twitter? Are you going to continue to tweet? Yeah, look, I don't like tweeting. I have other thingsic be doing. Reporter: The trump team didn't respond to our request for comment. There is a long history of presidential politics trying to bypass the press and communicate directly with the American people. Somebody like Franklin D. Roosevelt who uses his fireside chats. Quite effectively. To get out the message, a very specific, targeted message, to get around his critics. And that is why our social security program is an important part of the complete picture. Reporter: Ronald Reagan talked to the public unfiltered every Saturday. I won't hesitate to put our case before the American people. If I want a press release, I put it on Twitter. One of the things his supporters like is that he's just like them. Even though he's not. Meaning that he tweets like them. He talks like them. Reporter: But she cautions, as president, he's not at all like them. If we're having a president who is blocking all access and trying to discredit the press, we don't have people that are holding the president's feet to the fire. Reporter: Being blocked by trump gained Antonio delotero a bit of Twitter fame. 52,000 retweets. You had 52,000 retweets? Reporter: But a lot of haters too. Hopefully you'll go over the wall and never come back. Really baseless stuff. Somebody tweeted hitler photo to you. Yeah. This is all tweeted at you? Uh-huh. This is horrifying. Reporter: Hate tweets from strangers, morphed into hate tweets from classmates. They made a hate page where they produced tons of false stuff. What kinds of insults were thrown in your direction? Things like terroristic. They would call me a bunch of slurs. Tell me that they're going to throw me over the wall. Reporter: Antonio's parents say they've never faced this kind of bigotry before. We discussed deleting his account. He's entitled to his voice. Freedom of speech. Can't run away from things. Reporter: The Twitter hate page against Antonio was eventually taken down after school officials and the local police stepped in. It's toughened your skin, hasn't it? It has, yeah. And it's stiffened your resolve, sounds like. Uh-huh. Reporter: Antonio, who sees political activism in his future now, has become an inspiration to his friends. Being around him, how he was unafraid, made me feel like, well, I should speak up as well. Reporter: Trump is still a topic of conversation for this group. Your president has you blocked. Yeah. I haven't checked it since the weekend because I was busy. Oh, look at it, finally. You're unblocked? There we go, unblocked. Sometime over the weekend you were unblocked by Donald Trump. Reporter: We checked back with the others who told us they too were blocked by trump, but none of them say they've been unblocked. The whole experience has taught Antonio something else. How to respectfully disagree. You don't do snarky tweets anymore? No, definitely not what I used to do. Why? Because -- if I want people to maintain a level of maturity, I should be maintaining that level of maturity myself. Reporter: Antonio wastes no time crafting his first tweet to trump after being unblocked. First reply that he can actually view in a long time. I hope he sees it. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm juju Chang in flat rock, Michigan.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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