A few months after promising the establishment of his own social media platform, former United States President, Donald Trump has set up a new mass communication platform, named ‘From the Desk of Donald J. Trump’. This development comes after his much-reported ban from mainstream social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and popular video sharing platform YouTube following the Capitol Hill riots on 6 January 2021. The new platform allows Trump to post images, texts and videos and has been designed to look like Twitter, however, is meant to be a running blog of commentary from the former American president.
From the Desk of Donald Trump allows anyone to like his posts and gives them the options to share his posts on Twitter and Facebook, however, the platform does not enable Trumps followers to directly interact with his posts. Trump’s team had reportedly been working on the new social media platform which is being touted by the team to compete with the established social media giants. Trump was banned from all major social media platforms following the riots at Capitol Hill, when it was reported that droves of Trump supporters had stormed the complex while the US Congress was attempting to certify (now) US President Joe Biden as the next US president. Trump was accused of inciting the violence which claimed the lives of five people.
Social media giant, Facebook’s oversight board had stated in its ruling that Donald Trump’s Facebook account will not be reinstated. The organisation, which had established an oversight board to assess controversial cases of social media moderation said, “It is an independent entity.” The initial ban imposed by Facebook was for a day however following the Capitol Hill violence the ban was extended indefinitely following the oversight board’s decision. Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the decision claiming, “The risks of Trump allowing from to post are simply too great.” Trump’s followers have made several unsuccessful attempts to circumvent the restrictions following his ban from both the platforms. A Twitter spokesperson has made clear that, “Attempts to bypass a suspension of an account will not be permitted.”
Both social media platforms have removed posts from other accounts who have attempted to sidestep the ban on the former US President. Twitter has said that its ban on “Donald Trump remains permanent, even if he runs for president again.” Google too had banned Trump from YouTube, following the Capitol Hill riots. These bans have ensured that the former US president is unable to maintain any social media presence, his new platform has been perceived as an attempt to circumvent the restrictions imposed on the former US president.