“From The Desk Of Donald J. Trump” is a new webpage on www.DonaldJTrump.com, the website of the former President.
As noted in this Fox News story, the Facebook “Oversight Board” is supposed to rule as early as tomorrow on whether Pres. Trump will be allowed to return to using Facebook and Instagram. His accounts were suspended based on his social media and other commentaries on January 6 (allegedly).
But Pres. Trump and his communication team have given a strong indication that he is not going to wait for, or be reliant upon, Big Tech in order to communicate with the tens of millions of followers he had on social media like Facebook and Twitter before he was removed by the Tech Overlords.
At this point, the new webpage is a “one-way” platform — Pres. Trump can post whatever commentary he wants — including images and photos — and his content can be seen by followers. But, at this point, the platform does not allow followers to “reply” or otherwise interact with Trump as was the case prior to him being de-platformed by the social media companies.
According to the Fox News story, the website appeared without any fanfare or advance announcement.
Trump’s new platform surfaced Tuesday, after advisers had told Fox News that the former president planned to “move forward” to create a social media platform of his own after being banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat after the Capitol riot.
“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,” senior advisor Jason Miller told Fox News. “We’ll have additional information coming on that front in the very near future.”
It may, in fact, turn out to be the case that the social media bans imposed on Pres. Trump end up being a boon both economically and influence-wise. Trump had millions of followers on social media and received more than 75 million votes in the November election; I suspect it won’t take too much time at all for him to reach a number of followers in the tens of millions for any new venture once it is built out.
Had Facebook and Twitter allowed him to remain on their platforms, they could have manipulated their technology to limit his reach by creating bottlenecks for his information and messaging.
By kicking him off their sites, they incentivized him to work with others to seek to build a new platform beyond their control. The new website is powered by “Campaign Nucleus,” a company created by Trump campaign veteran Brad Parscale to provide a platform for managing political campaigns and organizations and catering to conservative political causes.
As noted in the Fox quote above, what will come next in building out the TMU — “Trump Media Universe” (I get credit for that if you use it) — remains to be seen, but I suspect we will know more after the Facebook announcement tomorrow.
Today’s rollout seems to have a bit of a “stick in the eye” quality to it — letting Facebook know that whatever decision they reach tomorrow, the die is already cast.
At this point, it seems that links to the new website posted on Facebook and Twitter are being allowed, and users can navigate to Pres. Trump’s site through such links. It would not be any effort at all for the tech companies to ban the posting of those links, or to prevent them from being sent to followers by users — just as Facebook and Twitter did with the New York Post story on the content of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
But since he is no longer President, and given the likely backlash both companies would face again, I have a suspicion they will not do that — at least not at the outset.