Five months after Donald Trump’s ouster from social media, following the January 6 deadly Capitol insurrection attributed to his false election claims, he is yet to find a viable means to reach his millions of followers even though he is nursing 2024 presidential ambition.
Twitter, one of the social media platforms used by Trump said in January that his ban is permanent and could not be reversed. Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said the ban was the right decision as Trump’s tweets point to the failure of Twitter to promote healthy conversation.
Trump has been reeling at the mercy of the social media platforms since then, as they had served as his megaphone. His helpless situation has been amplified by his dispute with the mainstream media. However, Facebook offered some hope to his return to social media with the promise of reviewing his ban, but the promise took long and unfortunately didn’t yield the result the former president expected.
On Wednesday, Facebook independent Oversight Board upheld the decision to keep Trump away from social media, at least for now.
“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7 to suspend then-President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence,” the Oversight Board said in a tweet. But it added that it was “not appropriate” for the company to “impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”
“Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account,” the board said, adding that it “insists Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.”
Although the board, dubbed “Supreme Court” said Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of its decision, it only heightens Trump’s predicament.
Getting worn off by his lingering inability to communicate like before, which has limited his ability to challenge the present administration and curse his enemies at will, Trump’s attempts to get around the ban has only backfired.
Although Trump claims he doesn’t miss Twitter, describing the social media app as “very boring”, he was caught on Wednesday trying to bypass his ban by creating a new account. The bio of the new account said: “Posts copied from Save America on behalf of the 45th POTUS; Originally composed via https://DonaldJTrump.com/Desk. *Note: Not Donald J. Trump Tweeting.”
Twitter immediately shut the new account down as it goes against its policy. The social media’s spokesperson said in response to Trump’s attempt to create a new account: “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account.”
In the wake of his ban from social media, Trump had hinted on starting his own social media platform, an idea which seems viable given that he has over 70 million supporters who wouldn’t hesitate to sign up if there is a social media to Trump’s name. On Tuesday, Trump did launch a website, From the Desk of Donald J. Trump, but it’s everything short of a social media platform. It’s just a blog where his followers can share his tweetlike statements on social media.
Since his social media ban in early January, Trump has resorted to mailing press statements to a few media outlets he doesn’t consider as “fake news” as a way of getting his voice heard, but it has sounded far below the range of his social media megaphone.
Losing the presidential election and the events that came with it were realities Trump has struggled to shrug off. But he has defiantly moved on with sight on 2024, when he hopes to have another chance to work from the Oval Office. He has the crowd, a mammoth throng of disciples loyally following his lead no matter where he is heading. His problem is how to tell them where he is going now that he is partially muzzled.
An anonymous source close to Trump told Axios that getting this account back is not only essential for his future political viability, “it would also be an undoing of an unjust act by a social-media company that made an ad hoc ruling to deplatform a sitting president.”
With all other platforms including YouTube and Instagram firm in their decision to part ways with the controversial ex president, Trump’s 2024 presidential ambition depends pretty much on what Facebook decides to do to his account in six months.