Donald Trump is having an eventful week in regard to social media. A day after a Facebook advisory board kept his ban in place, at least temporarily, Twitter also moved to keep Trump-related content off its site. Coverage:
- Suspended: Twitter on Thursday suspended a new account that attempted to circumvent the site's ban on the former president, reports NBC News. The account, with the handle @DJTDesk, began tweeting posts copied from Trump's new blog. "We’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account," said a Twitter spokesperson.
- Disowning it: A Trump rep says that the former president is not affiliated with the suspended Twitter account and that it was not set up with his knowledge or permission.
- Facebook impact: As a follow-up to the Facebook action, Meridith McGraw of Politico reports that many Republicans are privately "panicked" that Trump will be off the platform at least another six months. “This is a huge decision, makes it infinitely harder for him to raise money,” says a person identified as close to the Trump operation. “Facebook was the main way he raised money. He’s now going to have to spend far more in the future to find other ways to raise money. … It was the main way he found donors.”
- Facebook impact, II: An analysis at the New York Times makes similar points, asserting that the continuation of the ban will crimp Trump's ability to reach a mass audience with his message and to raise money. “Facebook was the method,” key Trump aide Brad Parscale told 60 Minutes in 2017. “It was the highway which his car drove on.” Yes, Trump still has a massive fundraising list, but those lists "must be continually refreshed, and Facebook has proved a crucial place for Mr. Trump to do so," write Nick Corasaniti and Shane Goldmacher."
- On the other hand: Continuation of the ban makes Trump a "tech martyr," Newt Gingrich tells Politico, and that could help him in the long run with his supporters. “Do you want a communist Chinese style control over your voice or American style openness?" says Gingrich. "We’ll see whether Biden sides with the Chinese communists or with the American people."
- Stifled chatter: Still, the social media bans are taking a toll. Recode reports that mentions of Trump dropped 34% on Twitter and 23% on Facebook the week after he was banned from both platforms following the Jan. 6 riots. "Since then, Trump mentions have continued to decline around 90 percent on both platforms from where they were the week of the riots," write Shirin Ghaffary and Rani Molla.
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