At 2:18 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2018, Fox News Channel took to Twitter to tell its followers that a federal appeals court had ruled against the Trump administration’s desire to end the U.S. program that gives immigrants a chance to continue working and living in the United States. After that, the network’s main feed went silent.
As the anniversary of that moment draws near, not much has changed. Many Fox News anchors and hosts maintain a presence on Twitter, including Bret Baier, Shannon Bream and Sean Hannity. Many Fox News shows hold forth on the social-media outlet, as well, including Harris Faulkner’s “Outnumbered Overtime” and Howie Kurtz’s “MediaBuzz.” But the network’s central presence — followed by 18.4 million users — does not.
Whether the network will reverse itself, and what might prompt it to do so, remains a matter of guesswork. A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment on whether its policy regarding its use of Twitter might shift.
There does not seem to be much economic incentive to return. The network’s shows have retained their status of being the most-watched in cable news. And its digital operations have reached new highs in terms of page views and unique devices used.
There has been speculation Fox News decided to go silent on one of the media’s favorite platforms for cross-talk and commentary after an activist group protested outside primetime host Tucker Carlson’s home. His home address was posted on Twitter as part of the demonstration.
But other parts of the operation remain extant. Someone continues to monitor and respond from the FNC Assignment Desk feed, particularly when newsworthy images start making their way around the venue. At this point, a return of the network’s main feed to active status would be treated as news — not just by followers, but by media outlets that cover the media industry. If that’s the case, maybe Fox News should wait until it has a reason to make a bigger splash.