Former President Donald Trump launched a new blog Tuesday to get his message out to users, after his digital presence was wiped out by Facebook and Twitter.
The blog titled “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” arrives a day before Facebook’s oversight board is set to rule on whether his account should be reinstated.
Social media banned Trump after they ruled that the former President incited his supporters to violence that led to the Capitol Hill riot of January 6.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the time that the ban is extended “indefinitely,” acknowledging that Trump content has in the past been labeled or removed when found to violate its policies, but that he had been allowed up until now to “use our platform consistent with our own rules.”
Trump’s posts so far on the new blog include one calling Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) a “stone cold loser,” and a slick video Tuesday that proclaims his platform a “Beacon of Freedom” and a “Place to Speak Freely and Safely” — although the site does not allow readers to reply back or communicate among themselves.
One senior Trump adviser indicated that the portal is only the beginning of his online comeback.
“President Trump’s website is a great resource to find his latest statements and highlights from his first term in office, but this is not a new social media platform,” tweeted Jason Miller, a longtime adviser. “We’ll have additional information coming on that front in the very near future.”
News about Trump’s new social network were first reported by Miller during an interview with Fox in March.
He said that Trump will be “returning to social media in probably about two or three months.”
He added Trump’s return will be with “his own platform” that will attract “tens of millions” of new users and “completely redefine the game.” As Miller emphasized in his statement: “It is going to be big.”
Keeping Trump’s blog up will be difficult
A number of Trump’s supporters were displaced from mainstream social media platforms after being linked with violent rhetoric, including the sharing of white supremacist, racist and fascist tropes.
Analysts say that if those same views are shared on Trump’s platform, his latest social media adventure could quickly descend into toxic farce – prompting tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon to intervene once again to stop the spread of violent speech online.
Writing at The Conversation, analysts note that building a social media platform is actually relatively easy. “Keeping the new platform online after its release could prove difficult.”
It’ll have to avoid the fate of “free speech” social media platforms favored by Trump’s supporters. One such platform, Parler, found itself dropped from app stores and forced offline after being accused of hosting content linked to the violence at the January 6 Capitol riot.
The platform will also likely become a target of hackers and “trolls” opposed to Trump’s brand of politics, who may look to find ways to shut it down or cause disruption.
“Trump’s new social media platform may well go live in two to three months – but keeping it online and free from disruption will be the real challenge,” the experts warn.